Railways to raise Rs 90 crore for flood victims in Bihar

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New Delhi, Aug 29 (UNI) Charging Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar with 'criminal negligence' of not taking any preemptive steps to safeguard embankments of Kosi river, Railway Minister Lalu Prasad today said the Railways would raise Rs 90 crore for the flood victims.

Addressing a press conference after meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister Shivraj Patil, the Railway Minister said he had requested them for additional companies of Army, Navy and Air Force in addition to para military forces for evacuation of the marooned people in the seven districts of the state.

Besides, he had also sought motorboats, helicopters and other relief material for the flood victims.

"Our first priority should be to evacuate the marooned people to safer places," he impressed upon the Prime Minister.

As far as the Railways was concerned, besides ferrying the foodgrain and other relief measures free of cost to the affected areas, they were raising a Rs 90 crore to be disbursed to the people after the flood fury was abated.

He announced that the cash prize of Rs one crore earned by him in the TV contest "Kya aap Paanchvi Pass Se Tez Hain" will be used start three relief camps where free 'khichri' will be distributed to the people.

In addition, he would be contributing a month's salary to the RailMantri Relief Fund to which all the employees of the railways had also agreed to donate a day's salary.

Describing Nature's fury in Bihar as "unparallel" in the history, the RJD chief said any amount of assistance would not help as hundreds of people had been rendered homeless and crops worth crores of rupees perished.

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