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Sonia surveys flood damage in AP; Central relief of Rs 200 cr

Written by: Staff

Hyderabad, Aug 9 (UNI) Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil, who surveyed flood affected coastal Andhra Pradesh along with UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi via air, today announced the Centre would release Rs 200 crore from the Calamity Relief Fund to meet immediate relief needs.

Mr Patil asked the state government to chalk out a detailed plan for permanent rehabilitation of victims and send it to the Centre so it could be examined by the Planning Commission and the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to assess the funding required.

Ms Gandhi, accompanied by Mr Patil, Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, Union Ministers Renuka Choudary, Dasari Narayana Rao, Pallam Raju, AICC General Secretary in charge of AP Digvijay Singh and PCC Chief K Keshava Rao assessed the damage from a helicopter.

They interacted with victims at two places.

After landing at the Gannavaram airport, she visited Amalapuram and saw how picturesque Konaseema in East Godavari district had been devastated by nature's fury. She visited a relief camp in Amalapuram and interacted with victims, most of whom sought permanent houses.

After studying the situation in East Godavari, West Godavari and Adilabad districts, Ms Gandhi visited Khammam, one of the worst-hit districts in the state. In Mote village in Burgampad mandal, she spoke to the people. At both places she saw photo exhibitions of the flood fury and inquired from the Collectors about relief operations.

She did not to speak to the media during her visit.

Meanwhile, speaking to the media after seeing off Ms Gandhi and Mr Patil at the Hyderabad airport, Dr Reddy said very soon a Central Team would visit flood-affected areas in the state.

Describing Ms Gandhi's visit as a morale boost, he said they had asked the Centre to liberally help the state. 'Today we have submitted a memorandum to the Centre asking for interim relief. We will assess the loss in the state and finally prepare a report and submit it to the Central Team that would visit the state shortly.' UNI JRK AA PR RN2049

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