Modi to visit Ockhi-hit village

Modi to visit Ockhi-hit village

DHNS: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday to take stock of damage and review rehabilitation measures in the aftermath of Cyclone Ockhi and visit an affected coastal village.

Originally scheduled to meet only the representatives of fishermen's groups, the prime minister is learnt to have added to his programme a visit to the coastal  village of Poonthura, where many fishermen were reported dead and many are untraced.

Sources in the state unit of the BJP said the visit was added following a request by Minister of State for Tourism K J Alphons and state BJP president Kummanam Rajasekharan.

The prime minister's visit comes against the backdrop of repeated calls from the state to declare Ockhi a national disaster.

The CPM-led state government has already sought a special disaster relief package of Rs 1,843 crore from the Centre.

The cyclone has  caused the death of about 70 people, with more than 100 still reported as untraced.The Latin Archdiocese of Thiruvananthapuram, which has led the fishermen's protest seeking a higher compensation  - the state has announced Rs 20 lakh each for families of the deceased  - and better coordination in search operations, is seeking a Rs 3,500-crore relief package from the Centre for the affected regions.

The prime minister is scheduled to be at Thiruvananthapuram in the afternoon, after visiting affected regions in Lakshadweep.

After arriving in the city, he would head for a visit to affected regions in Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu and return to Thiruvananthapuram in the evening.

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