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The Madras High Court has asked the centre to announce an interim relief for the victims of cyclone Gaja within one week from receiving the damage assessment report that will be submitted by the Central team.

Observing that “the government must move all machinery at its command to help the affected people”, a bench comprising Justices K K Sasidharan and P D Audikesavalu gave a series of directions to both the
Central and State government in addition to the steps that have been already taken by the governments.

The bench also directed the Centre to consider the memorandum submitted by the State government requesting to revise the State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF) with an open mind, by commenting that the present rate of assistance is grossly inadequate. A list of 24 directions were given to the State government which included getting assistance of army and paramilitary forces for restoring the roads damaged due to the cyclone. The Judges also directed to distribute tarpaulin sheets, kerosene stoves, mosquito nets, milk, bread, food grains, essential medicines and sanitary napkins, among others especially in rural areas.

The State was directed to appoint nodal officers at Taluk and Village level to ensure better coordination and equal concentration in all areas.

–India Legal Bureau

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