Crops spread over more than 50,000 hectares have been battered by heavy rain in Tamil Nadu which received 68 per cent more than average downpour this monsoon season.
The worst-hit districts are Chennai, Villupuram Cuddalore in the north, Kanyakumari and Tuticorin in the south and the delta region in Central Tamil Nadu.
More than 2,300 homes have been damaged due to the heavy rain which has been pounding the state since October. Two thirds of the state got flooded as the rain peaked with two successive spells in the second week of November.
In Nagapattinam district, a farmer, Rasappan, has lost his ready to harvest paddy he had raised on a 15-acre leased land.
“All crops have gone waste. All my jewels are in bank. If officials give compensation I can redeem and do farming again. Otherwise, the land would go barren,” he told NDTV.
The state is bracing for its fourth spell of rain from Wednesday even as its reservoirs are overflowing and waters from neighbouring states compound the crisis.
A Central team is on a four-day visit to assess the damage as the state has sought a 2,600-crore relief.
“Cuddalore district is at the receiving end during cyclones, floods and tsunamis. we should work towards a permanent solution. Declare this as a disaster hit district and start restoration work,” says Madhavan, President of Tamil Nadu Farmers Association.
The Greater Chennai Corporation which had to tackle heavy inundation over the last one week said they are better prepared now. Repair works over the last week, they said, will ensure minimal inundation at chronic low-lying hotspots.
Corporation Commissioner Gagandeep Singh Bedi said “We have made alternative arrangements to pump water at the chronic inundation hotspots. So, we expect minimal inundation only. Besides, more than 700 pumps which were deployed last week have not been removed. Relief camps would be ready too”.