Andhra cabinet meets following EC’s conditional nod

Amaravati, May 14 : The Andhra Pradesh state cabinet met on Tuesday and discussed measures required for relief in areas affected by cyclone ‘Fani’ and three other issues following the conditional nod given by the Election Commission (EC).

Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu presided over the meeting, which lasted for about two hours.

The meet discussed ‘Fani’ cyclone relief, drinking water problem, prevailing drought conditions and implementation of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS).

Agriculture Minister Somireddy Chandramohan Reddy told reporters after the cabinet meet that it was decided to provide compensation to farmers who suffered losses due to recent cyclone ‘Fani’.

With Naidu insisting on conducting the cabinet meet, the poll body had on Monday given its nod subject to condition that any new decision will require permission of the poll body before implementation.

The EC also made it clear that revision of rates or any outstanding payment will require its permission before implementation.

Chief Secretary L.V. Subramanyam and secretaries of the departments of disaster management, agriculture and panchayati raj attended the meeting.

The officials told the cabinet meet that as per the preliminary estimates, ‘Fani’ cyclone caused losses to the tune of Rs 58 crore. Detailed assessment of losses is currently underway.

The officials said electricity poles were uprooted in Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam districts and standing crops were damaged.

The cabinet was briefed on drinking water problem, which is acute in Rayalaseema region. Water is being supplied through tankers to meet the requirements. The officials said crops were withering due to lack of water for irrigation.

The officials also informed the cabinet that prevailing drought conditions was leading to migration from Anantapur, Kadapa and Kurnool districts and sought early release of funds for payment under MNREGS.

The cabinet meeting was held amid Naidu’s stand-off with EC-appointed Chief Secretary L.V. Subramanyam over the issue.

The cabinet meet was originally scheduled on May 10 but had to be postponed as the chief secretary sought clearance from the EC in view of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC).

Elections to 175-member Andhra Pradesh Assembly and 25 Lok Sabha seats were held on April 11. The counting of votes will be taken up on May 23 along with Lok Sabha constituencies across the country.

(IANS)

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