Chennai, Dec 10: The Centre today declared the floods in Tamil Nadu as "calamity of severe nature" even as Opposition questioned ruling AIADMK's handling of discharge of excess water from a city lake during the heavy downpour.
Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa said that on her plea with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Centre had declared the floods as a calamity of severe nature.
She also said that the Parliament Secretariat had issued a circular to MPs stating that they can allot Rs one crore worth renovation and rehabilitation efforts in the flood-affected districts from Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS).
While the state government would apprise lawmakers of the requirement in the respective districts on this matter, her party (AIADMK) MPs, totalling 49 in both Houses, had already been asked to contribute Rs one crore each from MPLADS, she said.
The state government said 347 persons had died and over 3,300 heads of cattle lost so far, but rehabilitation work had been taken up in full swing. Over 17.64 lakh people were rescued and sheltered in 6,605 relief centres across the state while over 1.28 crore food packets have been distributed, it was officially stated.
An amount of Rs 67.47 crore has been disbursed among over 1.11 lakh families as immediate relief. The Opposition parties, which had been critical of the Jayalalithaa government over its handling of the northeast monsoon, demanded a probe into the issue of discharge of excess water from Chembarambakkam reservoir here, which flooded Adyar river, resulting in heavy inundation of the embankments.