SAARC delegation visits tsunami affected places

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Puducherry, Aug 9 (UNI) A ten member delegation from South Asian Association Regional Conference (SAARC), including India, Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka, today visited Puducherry and acquainted themselves with the rehabilitation works initiated by the Puducherry Government in the tsunami-affected regions of the Union Territory.

The Director of the Programme Implementation Agency, G Ragesh Chandra, made a power- point presentation, bringing to the notice of the delegation the extent of damages Tsunami had caused in the two districts and the loss of human lives, besides socio-economic impact caused by the 'killer wave'.

Mr Chandra said 16 NGOs had come forward to consturct houses after the administration here approved their plan. The Government of Maharastra would construct 3350 houses in nine Tsunami-ravaged villages here, he added.

The director said VHF and DTH would be installed in vulnerable areas as a warning and would alert the people to equip themselves to face the disaster. The World Bank had sanctioned Rs 185 crore as an assistance, of which Rs 75 crore was released in the first instalment.

The agriculture and forest departments officials, among others, explained the steps taken by the official machinery. Some of the members of the team felt that community and panchayat should coordinate in relief and rehabilitation measures. They also wanted a coordinated and integrated approach to face the disaster, instead of adopting isolated initiatives.

The team would visit Cuddalore and Nagapatinam Districts of Tamil Nadu tomorrow, according to Prakash Rao, Programme Director of the National Institute of Rural Development.

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