Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray today announced an immediate financial relief of Rs 100 crore for Raigad district, which bore the brunt of cyclone Nisarga three days ago.
The chief minister made the announcement while on a visit to Alibaug taluka of Raigad district to take stock of the damage caused by the cyclone which skirted Mumbai but hammered the popular gateway, around 120 km from the financial capital of the country.
“For an immediate relief for Raigad district, I have announced Rs 100 crore assistance. This does not mean that there is a full stop with Rs 100 crore. We need to make an estimate. We will release whatever is required. I don’t want to declare a figure that’s exaggerated or less. We will make an accurate estimate and however much is required will be allotted. I will consider the whole issue and I promise you that you will get help. Just like Raigad, I will help the other districts too,” said Mr Thackeray.
The Chief Minister left for Alibaug – the tropical storm’s landfall site on Wednesday- in the newly acquired Ropax ferry which was to begin services between the coastal town and Mumbai this summer.
The 59-year-old Shiv Sena chief has asked the district officials to provide an aid of Rs 4 lakh each to the families of those dead. Mr Thackeray also ordered officials to ensure early restoration of electricity in Raigad district, where the uprooting of electricity poles has disrupted power supply. Six people were killed in the state due to cyclone-related incidents.
Uddhav Thackeray had on Thursday ordered officials to assess the damage caused by the cyclone and file reports on it in two days to assure people that speedy help is being provided to the farmers and villagers.
Mr Thackeray will also hold a meeting with senior officials at the district headquarters in Alibaug, said his party.
The severe cyclonic storm blew away roofs and uprooted electric poles after it made its landfall in the Raigad district on Wednesday afternoon.
Along with Raigad, Pune and Ratnagiri, 14 other districts faced damages due to the cyclone. The cyclone – the second to strike India in two weeks – hammered houses, toppled trees and damaged the plantations of cashew in the region.
In Raigad alone, several homes have been destroyed and more than 500 electric poles collapsed.
The National Disaster Response Force or NDRF spent most of Thursday clearing trees and removing debris. Several Maharashtra ministers visited affected areas and meetings were held in Mumbai.
The state’s Energy Minister, Nitin Raut told reporters, “The coastal villages have suffered damage. I have seen the uprooted trees and electric poles myself.”
Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Vijay Wadettivar, said, “Collectors have been asked to survey the damage and send claims. We will disburse compensation for the damages and the government will not fall short in helping.”
Cyclone Nisarga was the second to strike India’s coasts in nearly two weeks. Last month Cyclone Amphan, one of the worst storms to have formed over the Bay of Bengal in recent years, struck Bengal and parts of Odisha, killing nearly 100 people and affecting lakhs.