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August 28, 2008
Purnea, Bihar

PM conducts Aerial Survey of Flood Damage in Bihar

The Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh made an aerial survey of the flood affected areas of Bihar accompanied by Smt. Sonia Gandhi, Chairperson UPA, Home Minster Shri Shivraj Patil, Railway Minster Shri Lalu Prasad Yadav, Chemicals and Fertilizers and Steel Minister Shri Ram Vilas Paswan, and Bihar Chief Minster Shri Nitish Kumar.

The Prime Minister expressed his deep anguish at the havoc caused by the unprecedented floods and directed that all possible steps be taken to ameliorate the suffering of the people. Terming this a national calamity, Dr. Manmohan Singh announced immediate release of Rupees 1000 crores to the Government of Bihar for rescue and relief.

The Prime Minister declared that the Centre would extend all possible assistance to the state government. The Government of India will provide necessary material and technical assistance to the State Government to prevent further deterioration in the embankments and protective structures. A high-level team would be set up to coordinate matters with the Government of Nepal.

In view of the unprecedented scale of relief measures required, and as the relief operations are likely to continue over an extended period, the Central government will procure and supply tarpaulin tents and GI sheets as per the State Government's request. Special IAF sorties would be arranged for providing packaged drinking water. The Government of India has decided to release 1.25 lakh metric tonnes of foodgrains and shall release more as per requirement. The Ministry of Home Affairs and the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) will together provide 100 additional motorized boats for rescue operations. And high capacity IAF helicopters will be deployed for evacuation. Teams of doctors and paramedics would be kept on standby in accordance with the State Government's requirements.

The Central Government will also provide assistance from the Department of Animal Husbandry for the livestock affected by the floods.

Rupees one lakh from the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund will be given to the next of kin of all those persons who lost their lives.