Patna: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday announced Rs 500-crore relief package for flood-hit Bihar and conducted an aerial survey of the affected districts with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
Modi and Nitish, along with Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi, conducted a survey of Kishanganj, Purnea, Katihar and Araria districts of Seemanchal region, which has been the worst-hit.
The aerial survey took nearly 50 minutes as the leaders took stock of the situation, IANS quoted an official of the Bihar disaster management department as saying.
Modi landed in Bihar’s Purnia on Saturday morning and was greeted by Nitish, Sushil Modi and other top officials. PM Modi also chaired a high-level meeting in Purnia where he was apprised of the flood situation which has claimed hundreds of lives.
Assuring all help from the Centre, Modi also asked insurance companies to send their surveyors to assess the agricultural losses and reimburse crop insurance amounts to farmers on priority.
The Prime Minister also announced Rs 2 lakh compensation to the kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 for those critically injured in flood-related incidents.
Modi also apprised Nitish Kumar of his discussion with Nepal Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, who was in India this week, on ways to minimise the impact of floods from rivers over flowing from Nepal. He said Nepal has agreed to prepare a detailed project report for constructing a high dam on SaptKoshi and was planning a storage-cum-diversion-scheme on Sunkoshi.
During the visit, the PM was told that though 19 districts are affected by floods, damage in 13 districts including Purnea, Katihar, Kisanganj, Araria due to inundation has been immense, PTI quoted sources as saying.
Maximum damage has been caused to water resources department. The PM was told that due to breach of embankments and waterways for irrigation, a loss of about Rs 27,00 crore has been accrued by the department.
Around Rs 2,000 crore is estimated to have been spent in distribution of relief among marooned population of the state, it came out in the meeting.
Among other things, Modi said the Union Road Transport and Highways Ministry would take appropriate action with regard to repair of the damaged roads in Bihar.
He said the infrastructure damaged due to the floods would be restored at the earliest with the central help, a PMO statement said.
As per the latest report, death toll in Bihar has mounted to 418, with 1.67 crore people in 19 districts being affected by the deluge. This was the first visit of the PM to Bihar since the JD(U)-BJP coalition government was formed on July 27 after Nitish Kumar dumped the Grand Alliance over graft issue.