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PM seeks contributions for flood relief
December 27, 2004 00:31 IST
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday sought liberal donations to the PM's National Relief Fund to help the flood-affected people in the southern parts of the country.
Bank drafts and cheques may be sent to the Prime Minister's Office in South Block, New Delhi, a PMO official said.
Expressing grief over the death in the coastal areas due to tidal waves triggered by massive earthquake in Indonesia, former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee asked various organisations to come forward to help the affected.
"The government is doing its best. Other organisations should come forward to help the people affected by the disaster," he said at a function in Gwalior.
The Tamil Nadu government has asked the Centre to release funds from the National Calamity Contingency Funds (NCCF) to meet the emergency arising out of the devastation caused by tidal waves today along the state's coast.
After his meeting with state Revenue Secretary R Santhanam, Union Petroleum and Panchayati Raj Minister Mani Shankar Iyer said the former had disclosed that the state had exhausted the available national calamity funds.
Replying to a question, he said the state expected a substantial amount of funds from the Centre. "In any case, a central team will visit the state and assess the situation," he added.
Aiyar expressed disappointment over the lighting arrangements at the affected places and said the administration had also failed to distinguish between affected persons and on-lookers.
There also seemed to be no clear-cut instructions about where the displaced persons were going to stay, he alleged and said he had asked the officials to do the needful.
He said that he and Maran would undertake an aerial survey of the districts of Cuddalore, Chidambaram, Mayilduthurai and Karaikal on Monday and later meet affected people in Tiruvarur. On Tuesday they were planning to visit Kanyakumari.
According to the Tamil Nadu government, 216,000 food packets had been distributed among the affected persons, he said.
Union Minister for communication and Information Technology Dayanidhi Maran replied in the negative when asked by reporters if he was satisfied with the relief measures in Chennai.
Maran said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had spoken to Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and assured her of full assistance from the Centre, which had placed two helicopters at the disposal of the state administration.