Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, in a first of its kind statement during a natural calamity, asked all his ministers to be personally on the move to aid relief operations in the wake of the Cyclone Vardah.
The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam cadre were seen on the streets helping people suffering from the wrath of Cyclone Vardah on Monday. Even CM Panneerselvam was seen distributing relief materials to those affected by the cyclone.
The state government has earmarked areas likely to be affected by the cyclone and evacuated thousands of people to relief camps. Around 266 relief centres have been opened and around 10,754 food packets distributed. Municipal corporations have begun operations on to clear felled trees. The electricity board also began work on reinstalling electrical poles that were affected by the cyclone.
The government also set up helplines and toll free numbers for every district headquarters apart from corporation wise and agency wise helplines.
This expeditious reaction was in stark contrast to the situation Chennai, Kancheepuram and Tambaram witnessed in 2015 when the AIADMK cadre, ministers, MLAs and then CM J Jayalalithaa alike were criticised for lack of preparedness and timely intervention in the rescue operations. At the time it took the then government three days to provide relief to the people. Complaints of prolonged blackouts, lack of pumps and pipes and drinking water to those affected dealt a blow to the then Jayalalithaa-led government.