Prime Minister concerned over floods in Orissa

Manmohan Singh
Bhubaneswar, Sep 17: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was concerned about the Orissa floods and a Central team will visit the affected areas shortly for assessment of damage caused by the deluge.

Union Minister of State for Agriculture Harish Rawat told reporters here that he was visiting flood-hit areas in the state on the instructions of the Prime Minister and would apprise him about the situation.

"We have sought detailed information on requirements of the state to deal with the situation," he said.

Helicopters were promptly provided to the state for air-dropping food and relief materials and Rs 154 crore was made available to Orissa under the Calamity Relief Fund in August, he said, rejecting allegations often levelled by the ruling BJD of Central negligence.

Orissa's Special Relief Commissioner P K Mohapatra met the Minister with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

Rawat said he sought information on loss in the agriculture sector and damage to houses in the floods so that help under Indira Awas Yojana could be provided.

Among the sectors hit by floods were rural development, works, water resources, panchayati raj, schools and anganwadis, Mohapatra said, adding that the situation arising out of fresh floods in river Baitarani was under control and relief was being provided in five districts.

The chief secretary has directed authorities to furnish damage assessment reports by September 20 in view of the visit by the Central team.


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