Bihar floods: Indian PM Modi announces Rs 500 cr relief, conducts aerial survey of flood-affected areas

08/26/2017

NEW DELHI, Aug. 26: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday announced a Rs 500 crore relief package for flood-hit areas of Bihar after visiting the state. The Prime Minister reached Bihar on Saturday morning where he was received by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi in Purnea. After reaching the district, Prime Minister conducted an aerial survey of the affected regions in the state along with Nitish Kumar and took stock of the ongoing situation and other relief works. Lalu Prasad Yadav-led RJD questioned the purpose of Modi’s visit to the state now that the water has already receded in many parts.

Talking to news agency ANI, the former Bihar CM accused Nitish Kumar of engineering the floods, he said, “Bihar mein baadh aaya nahi baadh laya gaya, Nitish ka engineer baandh (dam) kaat ke baadh le aaya, (Floods did not occur itself in Bihar it was brought by engineers of Nitish Kumar by diverting dams).” Targeting the PM on his relief package Lalu said, “When Bihar suffered with floods in past Modi ji didn’t feel it was important enough to visit, didn’t allocate even a single penny.”

PM Modi assured Bihar CM of all possible assistance for relief measures and assured that a central team will be sent to assess the damage done by the 2017 floods in the state.

Earlier, Citing it as a “drama” by the PM, Lalu had told TV reporters, “I have come to know that Prime Minister Modi will visit flood-hit Bihar to take stock of the situation. It is a drama and the flood is an excuse. He is coming on an air trip. He will now visit flood victims as the floodwaters are receding. Where was he when nearly 400 people died and lakhs of people were forced to flee their homes and take shelter on elevated roads and embankments under the sky.”

PM Modi landed in Purnea at 11 am and conduct an aerial survey of flood affected areas in Seemanchal region including Kishanganj, Araria and Katihar following which he reached Patna where he held a meeting with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his cabinet on the flood situation. Following the meeting Modi announced a Rs 500 package for Bihar. PM Modi will visit the CM’s residence 1 Anne Marg at 1 PM for lunch and then return to Delhi.

He instructed that in order to assess the claims of farmers’ crop insurance; the insurance companies should send their supervisors to the flood-affected areas so that the farmers can be provided relief immediately.

The 2017 Bihar floods has been one of the worst in recent times in the state claiming over 300 lives affecting over 15 districts in its wake. The unexpected floods caused displacement of over 7 lakh people from various parts of the state including Purnea and Champaran. Now that the water has started receding from most parts, people are returning to their homes.TIE

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