Chennai, Mar 22: Accusing the DMK Government of inaction in taking up relief works in the flood-affected areas of Tamil Nadu, Leader of the Opposition and AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa today urged the party workers to involve themselves in relief measures. In a statement here, she appealed to the party MPs, MLAs and local body representatives to provide succour to the people affected by floods.
She said the three-day drive to enroll youths for the party's newly formed youth brigade from March 23 had been postponed to enable the party workers to take up relief works. Fresh dates would be announced later, she added. Ms Jayalalithaa said rains during the last one week had submerged thousands of acres of paddy and plantation crops, putting the farmers to hardship. Salt production had been hit as rain water had inundated salt beds, affecting the livelihood of thousands of workers. Even fishermen were put to untold misery as they could not venture into the sea because of the rain.
The AIADMK leader claimed that the Rs 200 crore relief announced by Chief Minister M Karunanidhi during the rains last year-end had not been fully utilised as the State Budget revealed that only Rs 56.5 crore was spent for flood relief works. Moreover, the Rs 1,150 crore assistance sought by the State from the Centre to provide succour to the affected farmers had not been realised, as there was no mention in this regard in the Union Budget, she claimed.
Meanwhile, TNCC President M Krishnaswamy, in a statement here, said the State Government should not show any discrimination while providing relief to the affected people and all parties and people's representatives should monitor this.
The Government should collect the estimates in respect of damage caused to crops, houses, cattle and road infrastructure and take steps to provide relief as the unexpected summer rains have caused extensive damage in the Cauvery delta areas and in Tuticorin, Tirunelveli, Virudhunagar, Kanniyakumari, Madurai, Theni and Ramanathapuram districts, he added.
CPI(M) State Secretary N Varadharajan urged the Centre to give liberal assistance to the State to undertake flood relief measures.