Over 200 dead in Tamil Nadu as rains abate

December 7th, 2010 - 10:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Dec 7 (IANS) Tamil Nadu counted its losses Tuesday and life limped back to normal as heavy rains abated after claiming over 200 lives and damaging thousands of homes and roads, as also crops, in the state since late October.

The northeast monsoon, which set over the state in late October, has killed 203 humans and over 5,000 livestock and damaged around 8,000 huts and around 320,000 houses.

According to state government estimates, around 1.5 million hectares of crops were damaged due to the rains.

Chennai, which saw continuous rains and waterlogged roads even on Monday, slowly returned to normalcy Tuesday though schools remained closed.

However, people in low-lying areas like Velachery, Minjur, Pallikarnai, Vyasarpadi and Taramani continued to suffer as their localities were flooded. In some areas, power was switched off as a safety measure.

The Chennai Municipal Corporation has pressed into service more than 100 pumps to drain the stagnant water from low-lying areas and has started holding medical camps to prevent an outbreak of water-borne diseases.

Meanwhile, the Tamil Nadu Cabinet, which met here Tuesday, decided to allot Rs.500 crore towards flood relief activities in nine districts.

The cabinet also decided to seek Rs.1,607 crore from the central government for repair work on damaged roads and water tanks apart from damaged crops.

The meeting, chaired by Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, took stock of the reports submitted by eight senior officials who had surveyed and estimated rain-related damage.

The state government had asked eight senior officials to survey and estimate the rain related damage to human life, livestock, crops, roads, bridges in nine districts - Cuddalore, Nagapattinam, Thanjavur, Thiruvarur, Villupuram, Tuticorin, Tirunelvelli, Pudukottai and Ramanathapuram.

The cabinet also decided to instruct district collectors to distribute Rs.200,000 to the families who had lost their kin.

The compensation for totally damaged and partly damaged huts has been fixed at Rs.5,000 and Rs.2,500 respectively and for other houses at Rs.1,500.

Fishermen will be paid compensation of Rs.7,500 for total loss of nets and Rs.2,500 for repairing rain damaged nets.

Paddy farmers who have lost 50 percent of their crops will be paid Rs.8,000 per hectare, the government announced.

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