Declare Cyclone Gaja a national disaster

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Cyclone Gaja must be declared a national disaster as it had caused huge devastation in Cauvery delta districts, said People for Humanitarian Rights (PFHR), a civil society organisation.

The team visited about 50 villages in the affected districts in four days and interviewed several people.

Noting that several villages were yet to receive relief assistance, S. Thenpandian, PFHR founder, said several marginal farmers in Thanjavur district had been severely affected and electricity supply was yet to be restored in many villages.

The State government must hold talks with representatives of farmers’ association to fix compensation for crops destroyed during the cyclone. It was necessary to create disaster management centres at village level as schools were now being used as relief centres. “Fishermen in Nagapattinam told us that a minimum of ₹1 lakh is needed to repair boats. But, the government is offering only ₹35,000 as compensation,” he said.

The team also found that the common service centres built in 12,525 panchayats were waiting to be inaugurated.

Some of the recommendations of the team include strengthening of local governance through local body elections and filling up vacancies for village administrative officers who act as a bridge between rural people and the government.


The organisation has submitted the report to the State government and political parties and insisted that the Centre provide funds to restore livelihood of people in delta district.

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