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Wednesday, 09 December 2015 00:00

Tamil Nadu CM requested Modi to declare National Calamity

Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Wednesday requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to declare the unprecedented, catastrophic and cataclysmic floods in Tamil Nadu as a National Calamity.

“You are personally aware of the catastrophic destruction and devastation caused by the four rounds of floods that have overrun numerous districts of Tamil Nadu over the past few weeks”, the Chief Minister said in her letter to the Prime Minister. She said due to this calamity, there had been extensive destruction and damage to infrastructure as well as to the private property of thousands of families in the flood affected areas. “Ex gratia payments are being made for the damages to huts and dwellings in slum areas as part of the relief operations, and the restoration and reconstruction of public infrastructure will have to be done out of Central and State Government resources”, she said and added that in addition to the memorandum submitted on November 23, the State government would submit a supplementary memorandum on the extent of damages in the most recent rounds of floods.  

 Pointing out that many households had lost all their personal effects and domestic durable assets, which were very valuable and could not be adequately compensated through the existing structure of relief payments, the Chief Minister said many of these households were in the low and middle income groups whose life savings had been wiped out by these unprecedented floods.The Chief Minister suggested that, as a special case, all the flood affected families should be liberally extended soft loans by the banks for purchase of vehicles, educational loans to continue to fund the education of children, and personal loans of an amount up to Rs.5 lakh to finance essential domestic durable assets. “It is only with such a package of assistance that many of these families would be in a position to restart their lives. Since many of these households would also be Jan Dhan account holders, the limits on the total eligible loan limit may be appropriately relaxed for such account holders.

 The Government of Tamil Nadu will provide special certification to all such families, based on which banks may be asked to expeditiously sanction the loans as per their norms”, she added. She also said that to bring down the prices of domestic durable goods to an affordable level, for white goods and kitchen equipment to be sold in the flood affected Districts excise duty exemption may be provided till March 31, 2016.

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