Bihar flood declared 'National Calamity', Rs 1000 cr granted

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Patna, Aug 28 (UNI) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today declared as 'National Calamity' the flood situation in Bihar and granted a financial package of Rs 1000 crore and 1.25 lakh tonnes of foodgrains for the flood-affected people, while the river Kosi continued wreaking havoc since it changed its course on August 14.

In the fortnight-long unprecedented natural disaster, which had claimed 55 lives so far, all the other major rivers in the state, including the Ganges, Gandak, Kamalabalan, Burhi Gandak and the Mahananda, were in high spate and flowing over the danger mark inundating large areas in every district.

As a result road and rail services with rest of the state had been severely disrupted.

The Prime Minister, who conducted an hour-long aerial survey over the worst-affected districts of Araria, Purnia, Madhepura and Supoul districts today along with UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Union Home Minister Sivraj Patil, Railway Minister Lalu Prasad and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, also announced a compensation of Rs one lakh each to the next of kin of those killed in the calamity.

Reiterating the commitment of the union government to extending all possible help to the state government to tide over the unprecedented crisis, Dr Singh directed the concerned authorities to send a number of powerful helicopters for the evacuation of large number of marooned people.

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