Centre likely offer Rs 3,000 cr package for bird flu in WB

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New Delhi, Jan 27 (UNI) With a view to provide rehabilitation package for the poultry sector, the Central Government is likely to come out with a Rs 3,000 crore aid for the poultry farms owners who have suffered losses due to massive culling of chickens in West Bengal.

''The negotiation between the Centre and West Bengal government is going on. We hope in the next couple of days, the Centre is expected to come out with a package of Rs 3,000 crore for those victims that suffered on account of bird flu,'' Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury told reporters on the sidelines of an event here.

He said the government has till now culled nine lakh chickens out of the target of 12 lakh chickens in the bird flu-affected districts of the state.

Mr Yechury meanwhile refuted the allegation, that the state government had not paid any attention to control the spread of bird flu virus.

''On January four the first case of bird flu was reported. The report came on January eight and the culling started from January nine. We don't know where the delay has taken place,'' Mr Yechuri said.

Humans typically catch the disease by coming into direct contact with infected poultry, but experts fear the H5N1 strain may mutate into a form easily transmissible between people.

The outbreak of bird flu in poultry was first reported in Margram village, 240 km from state-capital.

UNI SBA AK AS1730

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