Puducherry Dec 6: As much as 8,955 hectare area under paddy cultivation has been damaged by the unprecedented torrential rain that has hit the union territory.
Chief Minister N Rangasamy said that 11,418 farmers who raised paddy have been baffled by the massive loss in the devastation.
While, 4,420 hectare area under paddy was damaged in Puducherry, in Karaikal the figure stood at 4,248.34 hectare and in Yanam the extent of damage was 287.15 hectare.
The government said it would incur an expenditure of Rs 17.91 crore to disburse Rs 20,000 as compensation for an hectare of paddy damaged in the floods.
In the union territory, 1,544 hectare under sugarcane cultivation also bored the brunt of the heavy rains, while eight hectare area under betel leaf cultivation was damaged.
The government announced compensation of Rs 50,000 per hectare for areas under betel leaf cultivation and Rs 15,000 per hectare for areas under cultivation of sugarcane. This would entail a total compensation of Rs 2.71 crore to 1,508 sugarcane farmers and 57 farmers cultivating betel leaf.
The government has also assessed loss of vegetables to an extent of 168.10 hectare in the three regions and a sum of Rs 25.21 lakh would be disbursed as compensation at the rate of Rs 15,000 per hectare of vegetables lost.
The chief minister said that 297.73 hectare area under plantain crop has been damaged and Rs 35,000 per hectare would be provided as compensation.
Tapioca and other types of tuber crop raised on 231.9 hectare has been lost and the government would spend Rs 34.78 lakh for disbursement of Rs 15,000 per hectare lost.
Compensations for loss of flowers, cotton and pulses have also been decided. Rangasamy said the government has decided to defray Rs 22.08 crore for crop loss out of Rs 150 crore earmarked as relief package for damages made by the rain.
Puducherry has been battered by heavy rains since the beginning of November and officials have assessed that such a quantum of downpour had not been seen in the last 100 years.
The total rainfall that would normally be received during the three month period of October, November and December under the influence of North East monsoon has been received in one month (November) alone in Puducherry.
In Karaikal, an enclave of Puducherry in Nagapattinam district of Tamil Nadu, nearly 50 houses were damaged due to heavy rains and flooding. District Collector of Karaikal E Vallavan told PTI, when contacted over phone today, that the administration has opened 66 relief centres to provide temporary accommodation to people from the low-lying areas.
He said that as many as 25,000 food packets were made available to the people during lunch and a similar number of packets were being distributed at night in Karaikal, about 150 kms from the Puducherry capital. Vallavan said precautionary desilting works launched some three months ago to rejuvenate and strengthen seven major water bodies have prevented massive inundation of fields in Karaikal.
"Our advance measure has helped us escape the fury of monsoon," he said. One of the two teams of National Disaster Response Force deployed in the Union Territory has been camping in Karaikal. "We have geared up the machinery in all possible manner," Vallavan said.
He said the region has so far recorded 110 cm rainfall although during the north east monsoon (October to December) the region would have 130 cm rainfall. He said that the regional administration was in utmost preparedness to meet any exigency.
All educational institutions will remain closed till Monday. Meanwhile, National Fishworkers' Forum (NFF) expressed its disappointment over absence of any relief measures for the fishermen community. NFF chairman M Ilango said in a release that the chief minister had come out with a Rs 150-crore relief package for farmers and others but had not announced anything for the fishermen.
"The fishermen in Puducherry, Karaikal and Yanam regions have borne the brunt of the inclement weather... Boats, fishnets and other equipment were lost or damaged during the heavy rains and flood," he said and appealed to the chief minister to announce relief for the community.