A central team will arrive soon to assess the damage by cyclone Thane, which left a trail of death and destruction in Puducherry and Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu.
On Tuesday, home minister P Chidambaram made the announcement after touring the affected areas. He said more than half the agricultural land has been affected. Around 17,000 hectares of standing crops — paddy, sugarcane, betel leaves, banana and cashewnut — have perished.
The minister, accompanied by Union MoS in PMO V Narayansamy, said they would brief the PM and finance minister about the damage. The quantum of relief will be decided thereafter, Chidambaram said. The government, which has pegged the losses at R2,500 crore following an initial estimate, has asked the Centre for an equivalent amount of relief.
Villagers complained to Chidambaram about the poor relief work, saying even drinking water was still in short supply. The villages located on the periphery are among the worst affected areas — 90% of them do not have power even now.