Central team visits cyclone hit areas of Puducherry

Puducherry: A nine member inter-ministerial deputed by the Centre today visited cyclone Thane-ravaged areas in and around Puducherry to assess the damage. The team led by Lokesh Jha, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs, saw for itself the extent of havoc the December 30 cyclonic storm had caused in agriculture and other sectors besides claiming seven lives here.

Earlier, officials of the territorial administration led by Chief Secretary to Puducherry M.Sathiyavathy briefed the team members. Jha told newsmen at Porayur that a memorandum on the damage caused by the cylonic storm was handed to the team at the meeting with the officials.

Puducherry Director of Agriculture Sathiaseelan told the team that the more than century old government botanical garden had borne the impact of the cyclone.Over 150-year-old trees had been uprooted and more than two lakh coconut trees were lost in the cyclone.

It was pointed out that at least Rs 5000 should be sanctioned as compensation per tree lost in the calamity. A team of legislators of the opposition AIADMK headed by A.Anbalagan submitted a memorandum to Jha highlighting the extent of havoc the fisheries and farm sector had suffered. After overnight stay here, the team would visit Cuddalore tomorrow, sources said.