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No discrimination in disbursing flood relief: Patil

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Aug 24: Home Minister Shivraj Patil today said that the government had not discriminated against and state in rendering help and assistance in floods or drought and said the Centre went to the extent of providing huge funds even before their requisition was received.

Making a statement on an issue raised by a host of MPs from the states of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, the Home Minister said the issue raised by the MPs on the damages caused by rains and floods was timely and the credit of extending help to the affected states should go to the Centre when it had provided Rs 500 crore to Gujarat and Rs 400 crore each to Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh even before their formal request was received considering the gravity of the situation.''Before our government, there were instances where the states got mere Rs 20 to Rs 50 crore to overcome such tragedies in the past.'' He said the Prime Minister and himself conducted aerial surveys in Andhra, Gujarat and Maharashtra and the Chief Ministers of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka had met him personally seeking Central intervention.

The Home Minister, who is also the Chairman of the Special Task Force of the Cabinet dealing with natural calamities, said that the states had been told that if the money they got was insufficient, they should submit their proposal for the consideration of the National Disaster Management Authority.

Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said his Ministry had contacted the Chief Ministers of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh and had acceded to the request for providing foodgrains immediately. Each of their request was approved and communication had been sent for the release of foodgrains, he said.

There was a vociferous demand from the MPs from Uttar Pradesh like Mr Vinay Katiyar and Samajwadi Party MPs, alleging discrimination against the state which reeled under spells of drought.


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