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CM demands Rs 10,000 cr Centre's package

Press Trust Of India  |  Chennai/ Bellary 

Expressing satisfaction over the infrastructural help provided by the Centre for flood-hit districts of the state, chief minister B S Yeddyurappa today stuck with his demand for a relief package of Rs 10,000 crore from the UPA government.

Yeddyurappa, who is on a tour to the rain-affected districts, told reporters here that the Centre had extended all assistance to the state in the form of helicopters, boats and National Disaster Response Force teams to carry out relief and rescue operations. However, he reiterated his appeal for Rs 10,000 crore central aid for carrying out relief measures before Home Minister P Chidambaram and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, who were scheduled to conduct an aerial survey of the district today.

Yeddyurappa said he would also seek help from other states to tackle the flood situation. He said the government, to begin with, had decided to build 100,000 houses for those whose dwellings had collapsed or had been damaged in flood waters.

Private institutions like JSS, Jindal Group and Art of Living Foundation have come forward to build 5,000 houses each while Sri Manjunatha Trust of Dharmasthala has volunteered to build 10,000 houses for the homeless, the chief minister said. He said a day-long ‘padayatra’ would be undertaken by ministers, MLAs and MPs in Bangalore to muster relief from the public for flood victims.

Asked about the demand by Karnataka for release of Rs 10,000 crore for relief and rehabilitation, Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said every state will place a demand at such a time. “That is medium and long term issue for rehabilitation. Immediate physical assistance to the affected is the need. It is an issue which could be looked into by the Planning Commission,” he added.

To a question that the floods in Andhra Pradesh have not been declared a national calamity due to the political instability in the state, Singhvi shot back saying, “we reject and condemn it. It is most unfortunate. Such cheap political gimmickry is reprehensible.” He said the poor in the state deserved better than this cheap political gimmickry.

Singhvi said declaring a national calamity was part of a legal system and procedure.

“I am certain the government is looking at all aspects of the procedure. Every aspect will be looked into,” he said. The spokesman gave details of relief and rescue efforts and said that in times of such terrible national disaster no effort of any kind will be spared for relief and rehabilitation. He said the Congress President and the party were concerned at the human face of the tragedy. “We stand steadfast for giving a helping hand,” he added.

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First Published: Tue, October 06 2009. 00:05 IST