People scramble for food, power and fuel in Vizag

n PM announces Rs 1,000 crore for AP n Naidu warns telecom operators

People scramble for food, power and fuel in Vizag

People in the Hudhud-ravaged port city of Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh went without power and scrambled for essential supplies for the third day on Tuesday as they struggled to reset their lives after the cyclone claimed 25 lives.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday made an aerial survey of cyclone-battered areas and announced an interim assistance of Rs 1,000 crore for taking up immediate relief works. Modi visited Visakhapatnam for an on-the-spot assessment of the damage, and said that he was releasing Rs 2 lakh each for the kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 for the injured from the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund.

Long queues were witnessed at petrol pumps and shops selling essential food items like milk. Many residents said that traders were selling items at exorbitant prices.
Residents in certain localities of Visakhapatnam jostled as trucks carrying relief material distributed food packets and water bottles.

The city of 18 lakh people is still in darkness in the aftermath of Hudhud. Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu promised the people that power and communication lines would at least be partially restored by Tuesday evening.

Priority has been given to restoring power and providing drinking water to the affected.

Residents in most areas of the city have been complaining that they have no access to water, milk and vegetables, despite the district administration’s efforts to transport essential commodities from neighbouring and unaffected districts.

There is no piped water supply of drinking water. Motor pumps installed in houses and apartments are not functioning as power supply is yet to be restored.

Citizens complained that authorities have failed to supply water through tankers. Cashing in on the situation are greedy retailers, selling a 20-litre water bottle for Rs 300. As for milk, at some places half litre packets were being sold for Rs 50, twice the actual price.

Addressing this issue, Naidu told mediapersons at the district collectorate: “I have warned all hoarders of stern action.” Naidu also cautioned petrol bunks against fleecing customers.

“I know that certain service providers are not attending my meetings. They can talk about business, but they have a social responsibility too. If they don’t come, they will be accompanied by the police to my meetings,” he said, in reference to private mobile telephony service providers.

Four more deaths were reported on Tuesday, according to a statement from the disaster management department. While 15 people were killed in the worst-hit Visakhapatnam district, eight deaths are reported from Vizianagaram and two from Srikakulam.

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