Kolkata, Feb 9 (UNI) After the massive culling of chickens that took a heavy toll on the state's poultry farming, the West Bengal government braces up for compensating families affected by bird flu.
As about 3.7 million birds had been killed to check the outbreak of avian flu, the number of families facing economic disaster, stood at a staggering 700,000.
All these families used to depend on backyard farming for livelihood.
'' Altogether 3.7 million chickens have been culled in 16 districts and about 700,000 families have been affected by it. Rs 100 crore will be needed to be disbursed as grant to these people,'' Finance Minister Asim Dasgupta today told newspersons.
He said the state government had urged the Centre to bear 50 per cent of the total grant.
Dr Dasgupta said the state government would start giving a one-time compensation of Rs 500 to each of the affected families from February 15. ''Chickens will be provided free of cost to the poorest families,'' he added.
Following an initiave taken by the state government, banks agreed to disburse a loan of Rs 600 crore among the affected families to restart business, the minister said.
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