PM reviews India's response to tsunami

December 24, 2005
New Delhi

On the eve of the first anniversary of the tsunami tragedy, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh chaired a meeting of senior officials in the Prime Minister’s Office to take stock of India’s response to tsunami. A detailed presentation was made on steps taken to provide relief, ensure rehabilitation and faciliate reconstruction. The Prime Minister has expressed his desire to visit tsunami affected regions to take stock of rehabilitation work. He is expected to visit Andaman & Nicobar Islands in the near future.

The following report was presented to the Prime Minister:

The Tsunami Disaster :  A severe underwater seismic event that triggered a killer wave affecting more than 27 lakh people living in over a 1000 coastal villages in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. Fishermen were hit the hardest. More than 80,000 fishing boats were destroyed. Large tracts were rendered saline. Infrastructure damage assessed at Rs. 11500 crore. Jetties, harbours, roads, power and communication suffered,  Tremendous damage in neighbouring countries.

The Response : Coordinated by the National Crisis Management Centre and Government of India:

Immediate rescue and relief by GOI/State governments, NGOs, Civil Society

40 ships, 34 aircraft, 42 helicopters and nearly 21000 personnel mobilized. 28, 734 persons rescued, 6.5 lakh persons evacuated to 930 relief camps. Special flights from Port Blair for stranded tourists. 1639 medical teams. Rs. 700 crore for immediate relief and rescue. Major airlifting effort by IAF (9000 MT of supplies)


Special attention to small islands and indigenous people (Shompens, Little Andamanese, Sentinelese)


Rs. 3644 crore under the Rajiv Gandhi Rehabilitation package for fishermen, boats, nets, housing, orphans, widows, disabled and unmarried girls.


39, 171 Intermediate shelters constructed, before 2005 monsoons. Special effort (about 10,000) in ANI.


Sanction under PM National Relief Fund for next of kin of deceased @ Rs. 1 lakh. Special sanctions by States/UTs.


Widespread NGO/Civil Society involvement. Nearly Rs. 1000 crore contributed to the PMNRF. Almost all States contributed personnel, money and material.


Model of humane public intervention. Long-term focus on infrastructure. Rs. 9800 crore package covering ports, jetties, environmental and coastal protection, roads and bridges approved by the Cabinet. To be implemented over 4 years. Houses for 1.7 lakh persons, reclamation of saline land, fishery development, social infrastructure.

Assistance Provided to India’s neighbours

a)  Rs. 100 crore to Sri Lanka. 7 Navy ships, one hospital ship, Army hospital and other help


b) Rs. 5 crore for Maldives. 50 sorties. US $ 500000 for Thailand and US$ 3 million for Indonesia. Operation Gambhir.

Major initiatives under PMNRF

Ø Scholarships for children

Ø Special assistance for orphans and children without one parent

Ø Psycho-social support

Ø Universal Health Insurance

Ø Special initiatives-stadium in Car Nicobar, assistance for marriage, special examinations, old age homes, measures for the disabled, Sophisticated Tsunami Warning System.


Rehabilitation projects funded through Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund in Tsunami affected States/UTs.


A range of schemes covering ex-gratia relief, scholarship to children, psycho-social support measures, capital relief to fishermen, and universal health insurance have been launched for Tsunami affected states of Kerela, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh, and the Union territories of Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Pondicherry, after detailed consultations with the State Govts. and major NGOs active in these states. This is the largest ever relief initiative underkaken through the PMNRF involving a total expenditure of Rs 900 crore over a ten year period.  Rs 500 crores has been allocated for the first three years. The Chief Secretaries of the affected States/UTs have appointed Nodal Officers to coordinate work on these schemes.


  Brief details of the Schemes


·       The Prime Minister’s Child Assistance Scheme

Under this scheme, fixed deposits with the monthly income option would be opened in the name of each child for an amount of Rs.51,000/-. The fixed deposit will be co-terminus with the child attaining 18 years of age.  Once the child attains the age of 18 years, the main corpus would be made available to the child for further studies or for self employment. The State Govt. and the Panchayats will be responsible for identifying the beneficiaries.

·        Prime Minister’s Scholarship for Tsunami Affected Children

This scheme is to benefit children whose families have been affected by the tsunami, through loss of life, or livelihood (e.g. loss of boat etc.).  Such children will be given assistance @ Rs.300 per month to defray school-going expenses.  The assistance would be made available directly to the children through their parents/guardians through individual bank accounts to be opened in the name of each beneficiary by the State Government.  This scheme would enable each child to study upto Class X and will cease thereafter.  The scheme would run for 10 years.

·        Pyscho-Social Support

The scheme includes support for social infrastructure and social development, including an Old Age Home in Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Kerala, a Sports complex in Car Nicobar, a Trauma Care Centre in Tamil Nadu, Rehabilitation Cente cum Vocational Training Centre for the disabled youth/Medical camps in Andamans, and  Counseling support/career guidance centers in Kerala. In all cases, the state governments have been advised to make proper arrangements for operations and maintenance and involve NGOs/Civil Society if required.

·        Universal Health Insurance Scheme

It has been decided to implement a scheme to provide Health Insurance cover for tsunami affected families, to be run for three years.  The scheme covers five family members, including self, spouse, and three dependent children. List of beneficiaries will be prepared by the State Governments concerned and the scheme will be administered by the United India Insurance Company. 

·    Support to Fishermen and Loanees affected by the Tsunami

This scheme includes assistance to state government agencies to enable the waiver of principal and interest of loanees who lost their lives in the tsunami and rescheduling of overdue/penal interest for tsunami affected fishermen. Sate Governments will coordinate the scheme and provide further details.

·    Ex-gratia @ Rs.1.00 lakh each to the Next of Kin of the deceased due to Tsunami

So far an amount of Rs.91.71 crore has been directly credited to the accounts of the 9171 Next of Kin of those deceased due to tsunami. State wise details are given below: -


Name of State

Amount (Rs. in crore)

Andhra Pradesh


Tamil Nadu


Andaman & Nicobar









An additional sum of Rs 43 crore has since been released for Tamil Nadu. Ex-gratia from the fund will be directly credited to the accounts of the concerned beneficiaries as and when the particulars of the beneficiaries are received from the State Government.