The Cyclone “Nivar” has resulted in severe damage to crops across the southern coast of Andhra Pradesh as well as the Rayalaseema Region where the death toll is nearing the two-digit mark. Meanwhile Tamil Nadu, which is expected to be the epicentre of the cyclone recorded only 3 deaths and its Revenue Minister claims that minimum loss of life and infrastructure was possible due to a pre-planned strategy.
Nellore, Prakasam, and Rayalaseema districts in Andhra Pradesh have received significantly higher rainfall as a result of the cyclone. Rivers like Penna, Swarnamukhi, Bhima were flooded while other medium and minor reservoirs filled up the brim resulting in the damage of crops. According to our ground reports the Cyclone “Nivar” has affected more than 6000 villages across the State and close to 1.12 Lakh people have been directly affected. Amongst the damage to crop paddy farmers have suffered the most with over 3 Lakh hectares of crop got inundated. Other crops which are damaged included Bengal Gram, Cotton, Tobacco and Brinjal.
On 27 November 2020, during the State Cabinet Meeting the Chief Minister Jagan Reddy along with his ministers had assessed the situation of cyclone and announced a financial aid of Rs. 500 per individual to be disbursed at the time when the flood victims leaves the relief camps. Also, the Andhra Pradesh Agriculture Minister has directed the officials to prepare a detailed report by 10 December 2020 along with the estimates of crop loss. The Minister further assured that the compensation to farmers would be provided by the end of December.
However, several parts of the state still suffer due to the damage caused by the rains, electricity is yet to be restored in several places, Many are still stranded in the houses submerged due to water and mud. Even electricity was not restored in Nellore general hospital, and the generator was also non-functional due to waterlogging in the cellar, a patient named Venkateswarlu from Kovvur died due to lack of oxygen.
This is yet another instance where Jagan Reddy and his coterie of ministers have failed to minimise the devastation from a natural calamity. Despite tall claims by the ruling government, the YSRCP machinery has failed to restore atleast the electricity in the flood affected areas. Due to lack of electricity and water logging many houses remain inundated under water. Opposition party leader Atchannaidu demanded a compensation of Rs. 10,000 for every family due to the cyclone.
With the Assembly Winter Session beginning earlier today, the Telugu Desam Party Supremo N. Chandrababu Naidu and other party MLAs were suspended from the State Legislative Assembly. The YSRCP government has been negligent and continues to not just underscore but vehemently ignore the plight of flood affected farmers. Meanwhile, the Janasena Chief Pawan Kalyan is expected to visit the flood affected areas on 2 December 2020 unlike the CM who has conducted aerial surveys. As for the TDP, the former CM and party supremo Chandrababu Naidu had already asked volunteers to provide all necessary and available assistance to those affected.