Chennai: As many as 2,604 fishermen, including 220 of them from cyclone Ockhi-hit Kanniyakumari district, who went missing in the last few days, have been rescued and efforts to locate the remaining 260 members of the community is on full swing with help from the Union government, Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami said on Monday.
Chairing a high-level meeting with Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, electricity minister P Thangamani and fisheries minister D. Jayakumar, the Chief Minister also said he has instructed a high-level team led by additional chief secretary Hans Raj Verma to rush to Kanyakumari district to assess the damages caused by the cyclone and submit a detailed report by December 11.
Listing the relief and rehabilitation work carried out by the Tamil Nadu Government, Palaniswami said in a statement after the meeting that 9,252 trees out of 15,000 uprooted due to Cyclone Ockhi have been removed and efforts to clear traffic and repair parts of national highways, state highways and urban roads at the earliest have been fast-tracked.
“In all, 220 fishermen of 294 from Kanyakumari district who ventured into the sea have been rescued. With the help of Indian Air Force, Coast Guard and Indian Navy, 2,384 out of 2,570 fishermen from other areas of Tamil Nadu who went to the sea for fishing have also been rescued. Efforts are on to locate the remaining fishermen,” Palaniswami said in the statement here.
He also said only 891 people are at relief centres in Kanyakumari district and that he has instructed officials to ensure that people who had lost their huts be immediately given relief.
The meeting was also told that electricity would be restored in the whole of Kanyakumari district in the next 48 hours and that additional personnel have been roped into repair lamp post and transformers that were affected. The statement said fishermen who have lost their fishing boats would be identified and relief would be disbursed to them immediately. "The Chief Minister also instructed officials to repair damage school buildings on war-footing and re-issue identity cards to people who lost their identity cards due to the cyclone," the statement said.