New Delhi/Chennai, Jan 13 (PTI) Union Home Minister Amit Shah has assured to provide NDRF funds to Tamil Nadu affected by floods in December 2023, immediately after the inter-ministerial committee submits a comprehensive report to him on January 21, DMK Parliamentary party leader T R Baalu said on Saturday.
Baalu, who led an all-party MP delegation from Tamil Nadu and called on Shah at his residence in the national capital, said he was hopeful that the Centre would disburse the funds.
The delegation told the Home Minister that Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin spent the funds from the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) for relief and rehabilitation of the people affected by unprecedented rains.
"We told him to take speedy action on the memorandum submitted by our Chief Minister to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting Rs 37,907.21 crore for the massive damages caused due to Cyclone Michaung and unprecedented rain in the southern districts," Baalu told reporters.
The sum included an interim relief of Rs 15,645.59 crore and Rs 22,261.62 crore for permanent restoration.
"Shah assured us that the amount will be disbursed soon. He told us that the inter-ministerial committee would submit a report to him on January 21, and thereafter he would convene a meeting to decide on the extent of funds to be allocated," he said.
Also, the Home Minister had said that he would convey at an early date the quantum of NDRF funds to be given and said that the funds would be released by January 27, Baalu added.
Asked if Shah had committed any specific amount, Baalu replied that it would be known only after the Finance, Agriculture, and Home Ministries discuss and decide. "This is not politics, but administration. The government has to follow certain procedures in making a decision. We are quite aware of this. The heartening thing is that Shah had set a deadline for releasing the funds," he said.
MPs: K Jayakumar, Vaiko, K Subbarayan, S Venkatesan, D Ravikumar, K Navas Kani, and A K P Chinnaraj were part of the delegation that called on the Union Home Minister.
A copy of the memorandum, made available to the media in Chennai, said infrastructure both public, and private, besides the livelihoods of the people was devastated by two unprecedented natural disasters in December 2023 in the form of Cyclonic Michaung in the north and extremely heavy rainfall in the southern districts.
Chennai, Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram, Chengalpattu, Thoothukudi, Tirunelveli, Tenkasi and Kanniyakumari districts were affected.
"Inspite of adequate preparedness and precautions taken by the state, these extreme weather events have caused huge damage to public and private property, including waterbodies, drinking water systems, roads, bridges, and electricity infrastructure," it said.
The magnitude of the natural disasters was colossal and without adequate and unstinted support from NDRF, full restoration and rehabilitation cannot be done.
"Almost a month has gone since these twin calamities and the affected areas were struggling from the devastation. Hence, we request you to kindly take immediate action on the memoranda submitted by the state and sanction the funds sought by Tamil Nadu from NDRF without further delay," it said. PTI JSP KH