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Assam flood: PM announces Rs 500-crore package

Centre to take measures to rebuild damaged infrastructure, wipe away misery of the people

Press Trust of India  |  Guwahati 

Announcing a Rs 500-crore package for flood-hit Assam, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said the Centre will take measures to rebuild damaged infrastructure and wipe away the misery of the people.

After making an aerial survey of flood-affected areas in Upper Assam with UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Singh said, "I am making a commitment to provide a central ad hoc support of Rs 500 crore to the state government".

"People are facing considerable damage during these worst times and the Centre will do everything possible to wipe away their misery," Singh who represents Assam in the Rajya Sabha, said at the Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport at the end of his day-long visit to the state.

"A central team has arrived today in the state to assess the exact nature of damage and immediately after they file their report more financial support will be announced," he told reporters.

"The central team will make a detailed assessment of damage to crops, infrastructure and national highways and also for restoration of public buildings like schools, water supply systems and hospitals," he said.

Singh, Gandhi and Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi made an aerial survey by helicopter of Majuli island, Jorhat, Sibsagar, Lakhimpur and Dhemaji districts and the Kaziranga National Park.

He said that 77 persons had perished in the floods while five were missing and nearly twenty lakh affected.

"I am satisfied that the rescue and relief operations have been organised with speed," he said.

"For the next two days our focus will be on rescuing people still marooned and extending relief to those who have been forced to leave their homes...Once we complete search and rescue, our focus will shift to restoration of damaged infrastructure," the prime minister said.

First Published: Mon, July 02 2012. 15:44 IST