Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palaniswami visited Cyclone Gaja-affected parts of the state today amid protests over allegations that many remote areas are yet to get relief supplies. Mr Palaniswami, accompanied by his deputy O Pannerselvam, visited Nagapattinam districts and and distributed relief material to the victims.
Mr Palaniswami had sought a Rs.15,000 crore-relief from the centre for Tamil Nadu when he met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi last week.
Actor-turned-politician Kamal Hassan appealed to neighbouring Kerala to "rise above politics" and help those affected by Cyclone Gaja. He also wanted PM Modi to visit the affected areas in Tami Nadu.
Yesterday, the centre was asked by the Madras High Court to announce an temporary relief package in a week. A central team that visited the affected areas and completed its assessment on Monday was asked by the high court to file a report within two days.
The opposition DMK, meanwhile, slammed the ruling AIADMK government, saying the relief efforts were "not satisfactory" and demanded a meeting of farmers, political parties and welfare groups in the affected areas. DMK chief MK Stalin said the Mr Palaniswami isn't spending enough time with the victims of Cyclone Gaja.
The Tamil Nadu government released Rs. 1,000 crore to aid the relief and rehabilitation efforts.
Cyclone Gaja hit the Tamil Nadu coast between Nagapattinam and Vedaranyam on November 16, killing 63 people and leaving a trail of destruction. The cyclone left 3.7 lakh people homeless. Along its path, "Gaja", which means elephant in Sanskrit, uprooted thousands of trees, damaged homes and boats in Nagapattinam, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Pudukkottai districts. Many areas are still without electricity as close to a lakh electric poles were damaged.
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