CHENNAI: Terming the State’s estimate of Rs 199 crore for rebuilding roads and other damaged infrastructure in rain-battered Nilgiris district as “very inadequate”, the DMK president and Opposition leader, MK Stalin on Friday urged Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami to sanction a Rs 1,000 crore relief and rehabilitation package immediately, given the extent of the damage.
In a letter to the Chief Minister, the DMK leader said during his recent visit he noticed that the damage to the roads in Nilgiris was extensive, besides damage to bridges, inner link roads, electricity distribution network including transformers were seen in a big scale.
In sum, “the basic infrastructure in the Queen of Hill Stations has been smashed, requiring urgent repairs and rebuilding.” Nilgiris should be declared as “disaster affected district” and funds from the Central government should be sought for the purpose, Mr Stalin said in his letter. The letter was handed over to the Chief Secretary by the DMK MLAs Ma Subramaniam and Sekar Babu.
Mr Stalin said though the state government in its release on the extent of damage in Nilgiris due to the recent heavy rains and landslips was that 17 roads had been full damaged and partial damage to 150 roads, the ground reality was that from Lawrence to Avalanche, the total extent of roads that have suffered terrible damage was about 350-km.
Therefore, at least Rs 1,000 crore was needed in the first phase to rebuild and set right roads, repair damaged houses caused by the recent heavy rains and landslips in Nilgiris, besides building new houses for those who
have lost them, Stalin said.
Referring to about 10,000 people having taken shelter in relief camps in the wake of the natural disaster in Nilgiris, Mr Stalin said the administration should not ask them to return to their homes now in the absence of any repairs done to their damaged structures. Udaghamandalam, Gudalur, Kundah and Pandalur taluks have been worst affected by the rains and landslips, he underscored....