Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who is on a visit to Tamil Nadu to assess the on-ground situation in the cyclone-hit state, said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is distressed by the loss of lives in Tamil Nadu and is personally overseeing the response to the current crisis.
“PM 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 Chief Minister MK Stalin assuring all possible help from the Central Government,” Singh said speaking at a press conference in Chennai after holding a meeting with Chief Minister MK Stalin.
The Defence Minister said that he has been directed by the PM Modi to personally monitor the situation.
“… I have also been directed by the Prime Minister to personally monitor the situation here…Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Metrological Department, NDRF, all central agencies have been doing the best they can to mitigate the current crisis…,” he said.
Speaking about the aerial survey he undertook to see the situation in the state, he said, “I took an aerial survey followed by a one-to-one meeting with the Chief Minister and a review meeting with the concerned officials. Together we are putting up an effective response to the situation here and hopefully, we will improve it further…”
Rajnath Singh said that the first installment of the central share of the State Disaster Response Force has already been released and the Prime Minister has been directed to release the second installment in advance.
“The first installment of the central share of the SDRF amounting to Rs 450 crore had been released earlier. Since the problem of urban floods has been repeatedly witnessed in Chennai in recent years, the Government of India has approved a centre funding of Rs 500 crore for urban flood management activities…,” Singh said.
“PM Narendra Modi has directed the Ministry of Home Affairs to release in advance the central share of the second installment of the SDRF of Rs 493.60 crore to Andhra Pradesh and Rs 450 crore to Tamil Nadu,” he added.
The Centre has also 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 (NDMF), which also includes central assistance of Rs 500 crore, the Defence Minister said.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh conducted an aerial survey of cyclone Michaung-affected areas of Tamil Nadu on Thursday and held discussions with Chief Minister MK Stalin to assess the damage.
The National Disaster Management Authority, Police, Navy and other authorities were also present of the meeting between the Union Minister and the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister after the ariel survey.
During the meeting the Defence Minister was briefed on the cyclone, the damage caused and the relief needed from the Centre. Earlier in the day, the Defence Minister took to X to post, “Leaving New Delhi for Chennai to assess the flood situation caused due to ‘Michaung’ Cyclone in Tamil Nadu. Shall conduct an aerial survey of the affected areas and also review the situation with the State Government.”
Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, L Murugan, Tamil Nadu Finance Minister Thangam Thennarasu and the state’s chief secretary, accompanied the Defence Minister during his aerial survey of the flood-affected areas in the State.