Chennai, Dec 4 (PTI) A total of 2,604 fishermen from several parts of Tamil Nadu, including 220 from Kanyakumari district, stranded at sea due to cyclone Ockhi, have been rescued, Chief Minister K Palaniswami said here today.
He said 2,570 fishermen from various parts of the state had set out to sea in 284 boats, of which 2,384 in 205 vessels were rescued.
In Kanyakumari district alone, 220 fishermen of the total of 294 who set out to sea were rescued, he said.
“The information (about rescue) is being passed on to their kin,” an official release here quoted him as saying.
The Chief Minister deputed top government officials, including police officers, to Kanyakumari to further speed up relief work and ordered them to complete damage assessment in Kanyakumari district and submit a report before December 11.
He said the Navy,Air Force and Coast Guard would continue their efforts to rescue the “remaining 186 fishermen, their 79 boats (from several parts of Tamil Nadu), apart from 74 fishermen of Kanyakumari.”
Palaniswami chaired a meeting at the Secretariat here to take stock of relief and rescue efforts in the wake of ‘Ockhi’ and was briefed by officials about rescue and relief work.
Relief initiatives in Kanyakumari
The Chief Minister ordered fisheries officials to provide appropriate relief to owners of damaged boats after completion of assessment in this respect.
He also ordered repairing of the damaged walls of Colachel Fishing Harbour in Kanyakumari District.
Out of the 2,391 persons in 29 relief camps in Kanyakumari, only 891 were presently being sheltered in nine centres as normalcy is returning, the release said.
“The Chief Minister ordered that they should be provided food, water, medicine and all amenities till they returned home.” Also, he directed immediate relief to damaged hutments.
Out of about 15,000 uprooted trees, 9,252 have been cleared, he said, adding personnel could be deployed, if needed, from neighbouring districts, to clear the rest of it.
He directed immediate repairing of about 200 km of damaged roads, of which 60 km was National Highways, 40 km State Highways and 100 km rural and urban roads.
Out of the damaged 4,157 Low Tension electricity poles, 1,998 have been replaced while of the 2,426 High Tension poles, 972 were replaced.
“The Chief Minister ordered replacement of the rest of the electricity poles on a war footing and restoration of power supply to all areas in the next 48 hours,” it said.
He announced a solatium of Rs four lakh to the kin of five victims in Kanyakumari. While three persons died after trees fell on them, two others were fishermen and their bodies were recovered yesterday.
He lauded offcials and government employees for their work and asked them to keep up the tempo till normalcy was fully restored.
Missing Nagapattinam fishermen
A 22-year old fisherman of Nagapattinam district caught in the cyclone fury was killed and his body was washed ashore in Lakshwadeep and it is being brought to Nagapattinam, a fishermen’s leader said.
Also, there was no information about 26 other fishermen of Nagapattinam district, who ventured into the sea from Kanyakumari coast last week, leader of fishermen panchayat of Seruthur, Kalaiyarasan said.
Nagapattinam fisheries officials have contacted their counterparts in Kanyakumari and Kerala to get information about the 26 missing fishermen, he said.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.