Tamil Nadu seeks Rs.25,912 crore post-flood

Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa on Tuesday told Prime Minister Narendra Modi that her state requires Rs.25,912 crore for flood relief measures.

In a letter to Modi, the text of which was released to the media here, Jayalaltihaa demanded an mmediate release of Rs.2,000 crore and said the supplementary memorandum reflects the damage caused during the fourth spell of rainfall and the consequent floods in December's first week.

"Tamil Nadu immediately needs an additional sum of Rs.17,431.51 crore for temporary and permanent restoration," Jayalalithaa said.

Including the earlier request of Rs.8,481 crore towards relief and restoration of flood-affected areas, the total amount of central funds the state needs was around Rs.25,912 crore.

Stressing the state government's commitment to rebuilding the infrastructure and reducing people's distress, Jayalalithaa said the costs were very huge and difficult for the state government to meet, after the loss of tax revenue due to the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission.

Noting the floods have already been declared a "calamity of severe nature", she requested Modi to instruct the union home ministry and other ministries concerned to consider the state's two memoranda, and urged Modi for an immediate release of Rs.2,000 crore from the National Disaster Response Fund.

Heavy rains -- the worst in a century -- battered Chennai and adjoining Kanchipuram, Cuddalore and Thiruvallur districts in the past month resulting in unprecedented floods. Nearly 390 people lost their lives due to the rains.

On November 23, Jayalalithaa sent a memorandum to Modi asking for central funding of Rs.8,481 crore towards flood relief and an immediate relief of Rs.2,000 crore.

Subsequently, a central government team surveyed the flood destruction.

Even after the team's visit, heavy rains continued to hit the four districts.

During Modi's recent visit, he announced a relief of Rs.1,000 crore in addition to the earlier Rs.940 crore.

According to Jayalalithaa, the Rs.940 crore included Rs.133.79 crore of arrears from 2014-15 towards the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) and Rs.254.62 crore towards the second instalment of SDRF for current fiscal.

"The releases to the SDRF were not an additionality of funds, but a reimbursement of the expenditure already incurred by the state government towards relief expenditure in 2014-15 and also in 2015-16," said Jayalalithaa in her letter.

"The sum of Rs.552 crore released towards special assistance for projects is meant for funding specific plan schemes and cannot be utilised for temporary restoration work," she added.

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