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Cognizant announces Rs 260 crore aid for Chennai flood relief

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Chennai: US-headquartered IT company Cognizant, with major operations in Chennai, on Tuesday announced Rs 260 crore ($40 million) aid for flood relief measures here and assistance as loans, grants to its employees and business partners.

It announced a contribution of Rs 65 crore ($10 million) towards flood relief steps and another Rs 195 crore ($30 million) as assistance (loans, grants and health care assistance).

In a statement issued here, Cognizant said the Rs 65 crore assistance to help Chennai residents will be given through a mix of contribution to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister’s Public Relief Fund; direct grants to NGOs, charitable and relief organisations providing healthcare, housing and other support in Chennai and direct health initiatives and other community programmes.

Cognizant, one of Chennai’s largest employers with more than 60,000 employees and 11 facilities, will take a multi-pronged approach to support relief and long-term rehabilitation measures in the city, the statement said.

The company said it also plans to sponsor and fund additional initiatives through Cognizant Foundation, which spearheads the company’s corporate social responsibility initiatives in India, and Cognizant Outreach, the company’s employee-led, grassroots volunteering programme.

“Corporate support must play a vital role in providing immediate relief and helping to rebuild Chennai,” president Gordon Coburn was quoted as saying in the statement.(ians)

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CM Jayalalithaa seeks Rs 25,912 crore as flood relief

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Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Tuesday told Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the state requires Rs.25,912 crore towards flood relief measures and an immediate release of Rs.2,000 crore.

In a letter to Modi, the text of which was released to the media here, Jayalalithaa said the supplementary memorandum reflects the damage caused during the fourth spell of rainfall and the consequent floods in the first week of December.

“Tamil Nadu immediately needs an additional sum of Rs.17,431.51 crore for temporary and permanent restoration,” Jayalalithaa said.

Including the earlier request of Rs.8,481 crore towards relief and restoration of flood-affected areas, the total amount of central funds the state needs was around Rs.25,912 crore.

Stressing the state government’s commitment to rebuilding the infrastructure and reducing people’s distress, Jayalalithaa said the costs were huge and difficult for the state government to meet, after the loss of tax revenue due to the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission.

Pointing out that the floods in Tamil Nadu have already been declared a “calamity of severe nature”, Jayalalithaa requested Modi to instruct the union home ministry and other concerned ministries to consider the state’s two memoranda for an assistance of Rs.25,912 crore.

She urged Modi for an immediate release of Rs.2,000 crore from the National Disaster Response Fund.

Heavy rains — the worst in a century — battered Chennai and adjoining Kanchipuram, Cuddalore and Thiruvallur districts in the past month resulting in unprecedented floods. Nearly 390 people lost their lives due to the rains.

On November 23, Jayalalithaa sent a memorandum to Modi asking for central funding of Rs.8,481 crore towards flood relief and an immediate relief of Rs.2,000 crore.

Subsequently, a central government team surveyed the flood destruction.

Even after the team’s visit, heavy rains continued to hit the four districts.

During Modi’s recent visit, he announced a relief of Rs.1,000 crore in addition to the earlier Rs.940 crore.

According to Jayalalithaa, the Rs.940 crore included Rs.133.79 crore of arrears from 2014-15 towards the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) and Rs.254.62 crore towards the second instalment of SDRF for current fiscal.(IANS)