AP rain fury: Kiran to meet PM today for Rs 6.4k crore relief fund

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AP rain fury: Kiran to meet PM today for Rs 6.4k crore relief fund
New Delhi, Nov 9: Andhra Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy is expected to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today to seek a Rs.6400 crore package after there was widespread damage to crops due to torrential rains in the state.

Even as there is a lot of speculation on why Mr Reddy is in Delhi, sources said he is meeting the Prime Minister to seek the Centre's help for the huge losses.

Unseasonal rains in Andhra Pradesh have wreaked more havoc than tropical storm Cyclone Phailin, which pounded the east coast last month, destroying crops over 12 lakh hectares in the state, with cotton and paddy crops being the worst-hit.

"The paddy crop is gone. I was expecting a good crop till rains destroyed everything. It is a huge loss,'' Narasimha, a farmer in Nalgonda district said.

Village head E Kavita says the government has done nothing so far. "They come and enumerate, but no farmer has got any help,'' she says.

"Initial estimates show a minimum of 50 per cent of area covered by fields may be damaged. The actual figures may vary from district to district but the damage overall appears to be substantial," Madhusudan Rao, Andhra Pradesh's Agriculture Commissioner said.

Over 50 people have died in the state so far, with at least three farmers committing suicide.

In a year when farmers in Andhra Pradesh were expecting a bumper crop, the incessant rains destroyed cotton crop over almost 6 lakh hectares of land, followed by paddy sown in nearly 5 lakh hectares. Besides, nearly 2000 cattle died and over 1400 irrigation tanks were breached, destroying the agricultural infrastructure in the state.

Nearly 5200 villages in 16 districts have been affected, with over 42,000 houses damaged and over two lakh people evacuated to relief camps.

OneIndia News

(With agency inputs)

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