Central team to assess damage in Kerala floods

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New Delhi, Mar 24 (UNI) A central team will visit Kerala in the next two days to assess the damages caused by rains and floods, it was officially stated today.

An assurance to this effect was given by Home Minister Shivraj Patil and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar to former Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Nationalist Congress Party's Kerala chief K Muralidharan respectively.

A similar assurance was given to Kerala Revenue Minister K P Rajendran and Transport Minister Mathew T Thomas when they met Mr Patil and sought immediate assistance of Rs 150 crore for flood relief works in the state, which has received 660 per cent more rainfall than the normal in the past one week.

Mr Rajendran told mediapersons that the actual damage to public and private properties had not yet been assessed. "However, we have sought an immediate assitance of Rs 150 crore," he said.

Mr Chandy said that he had represented the state's case to Dr Singh and Mr Patil.

He said he requested the Prime Minister to include agricultural activities under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) so that the people involved in the field would get sufficient number of days work and remuneration.

Mr Muralidharan met Mr Pawar and sought assistance to the state which had incurred huge losses to lives and property in the rains and floods in the past few days.

UNI SH PK RK2055

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