Multi-crore package for Phyan-hit | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Multi-crore package for Phyan-hit

State government announces compensation even for those insured; fishermen missing for two months to be declared dead, reports HT Correspondent.

mumbai Updated: Nov 20, 2009 00:59 IST
HT Correspondent

The Maharashtra government has announced a compensation package of at least Rs 12 crore for fishermen affected by Cyclone Phyan which skirted the coast of Maharashtra on November 11.

The death toll of fishermen is now 28 and 79 others are still missing. Relatives of those dead will receive Rs 2 lakh-Rs 1 lakh each from the state government and the fisheries department.

“Usually, we do not offer compensation to those insured, but here we have made an exception,” said Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal after a meeting to take stock of the post-cyclone situation.

“Also, according to rules we declare a missing person dead after waiting for seven years, but here have fixed the period at two months.”

Fishing nets, boats, trawlers and houses in Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts in Konkan have also been badly damaged.

Fishermen will receive up to Rs 10,000 for damaged nets.

They will get 50 per cent of the cost or Rs 60,000 [whichever is less] for the 143 small boats that disintegrated. The owners of 12 damaged trawlers will get Rs 2 lakh each.

People whose concrete houses were damaged will receive Rs 35,000 while those with temporary structures will get Rs 10,000 depending on the losses suffered, said Bhujbal. “Information on agricultural losses is yet to be derived. We are still getting feedback from districts like Nashik, Satara, Gondia where high intensity rain have spoilt crops,” said M. Rameshkumar, additional chief secretary, relief and rehabilitation.

Agricultural losses estimated are spread over 2 lakh hectares, which will cost around Rs 70 to 100 crore.

A group of IAS officials will visit the affected areas and give a report in 10 days.

Inquiry into when fishermen were alerted

The government also discussed if fishermen in Konkan had received warnings of the cyclone well in time. “We have ordered an inquiry into this,” said Bhujbal.

Rameshkumar said it seemed that the Indian Meteorological Department sent information on the November 9, and by November 10 most fishermen had returned. Red flags and warning signs were also up on the coast.

About the Doppler Radar, a state-of-the art weather forecasting system to be installed in Mumbai, which could have given monitored warnings of the cyclone, Bhujbal said, “ I know it would have been helpful. We will have to see what has happened.” Clearance for the radar is pending with the central defence ministry.

Deputy secretary level officer to head Project

The state government will appoint an officer of deputy secretary level to supervise the Rs 125-crore National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project that took off in 2005.

The project includes building cyclone shelters, saline embankments and mangrove regeneration. The officer will make project plans, float tenders for and monitor their implementation.

Rane’s absence is Konkan’s loss

Ailing Konkan strongman Narayan Rane’s absence on Thursday cost the Phyan -ravaged Konkan belt dear. Ministers from the region failed to get substantial relief for those affected.

A minister from Vidarbha requesting anonymity said he initiated the debate on the fisherfolks’ plight but no minister from Konkan joined him.

“I wish Rane was there,” he said.