Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday visited Chennai and assessed the effects of Cyclone Michaung. The union minister conducted an aerial survey of affected areas and reviewed the situation.
The union minister along with Tamil Nadu Finance Minister Thangam Thenarasu and senior officials conducted an aerial survey on reaching Chennai. The union minister met Chief Minister M.K. Stalin and conducted a one-to-one meeting with him. He also participated in a review meeting along with the CM and the concerned officials.
Talking to presspersons, Singh said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi is distressed by the loss of lives in Tamil Nadu. He is personally overseeing the response to the current crisis and has spoken to CM M.K. Stalin. I have also been directed by the Prime Minister to personally monitor the situation here. Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Metrological Department, NDRF, and all central agencies have been doing the best they can to mitigate the current crisis.”
Singh added, “PM has directed the Ministry of Home Affairs to release in advance the central share of the second instalment of State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) of Rs 493.60 crore to Andhra Pradesh and Rs 450 crore to Tamil Nadu. The Centre had already released its first instalment of the same amount to both the states,” he said. Singh said that the Centre has approved the first urban flood mitigation project of Rs. 561.29 crore for ‘Integrated Urban Flood Management activities for Chennai Basin Project’ under the National Disaster Mitigation Fund, which also includes central assistance of Rs 500 crore.
CM Stalin urged the defence minister to assist in the immediate release of Rs 5,060 crore of flood relief requested by the state from the Centre.