With the unprecedented deluge leaving a trail of destruction and devastation in Tamil Nadu, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Tuesday sought Central assistance of Rs 25,912 crore towards restoration, saying it was ‘difficult’ for the state Government to meet the costs, especially after suffering ‘huge loss’ of Central tax devolution.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, she said her government was committed to rebuilding infrastructure and reducing the distress caused to people due to floods providing ‘gratuitous relief’ for affected families.
“These costs are very large and it is very difficult for the Government of Tamil Nadu to meet the cost, particularly after the huge loss of Central tax devolution and transfers suffered by the state consequent on the 14th Finance Commission’s recommendations,” she said.
The CM recalled that her government had earlier submitted a memorandum totalling the losses suffered at Rs 8,481 crore in November, following which a Central team had also visited Tamil Nadu to make on-spot assessment.
However, the “fourth and most severe spell” of rainfall was received after the team’s visit, she said, referring to the heavy downpour on December 1, which resulted in severe flooding of Chennai, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur districts even as Cuddalore had also been affected.
“We have now prepared the supplementary memorandum which reflects damages caused during the fourth spell of rainfall and the consequent floods in the first week of December 2015. Tamil Nadu immediately needs an additional sum of Rs 17,431.51 crore for temporary and permanent restoration,” she said.
With the government now preparing a supplementary memorandum the state will need a total sum of Rs 25,912.45 crore, including the earlier Rs 8,481 crore, for relief and restoration efforts, she told Modi.
“I request you to kindly instruct the Ministry of Home Affairs and the other concerned Ministries to expeditiously consider our two memoranda for assistance on account of flood damages and devastation and release the necessary funds at the earliest to meet the state government’s requirement of Rs 25,912.45 crore,” she wrote to Modi.
Referring to her plea for an immediate release of Rs 2,000 crore made with Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday “to sustain the vigour of restoration operations”, she urged the Prime Minister to instruct the Finance Ministry to expedite its release.