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Tsunami aid norms to be applied in Maharashtra

August 12, 2005 15:37 IST

Terming the recent monsoon fury in Maharashtra as a national calamity, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday said tsunami aid norms would be made applicable for relief and rehabilitation in the rain ravaged state.

Asserting that funds would be no constraint in tackling the situation, he told an all party delegation of legislators from the state that he had asked for sending medical experts and relief to the state immediately in the wake of epidemic reports.

"I am proud of Maharashtra. The whole nation is proud of the state... All cooperation and assistance will be provided to tackle the situation and funds will be no constraint," the legislators quoted the prime minister as saying.

According to Shiv Sena parliamentary party leader Anant Geete and former chief minister and Congress MP A R Antulay, the prime minister acknowledged that Maharashtra had faced a national calamity and that he would set up a special committee to ensure speedy rehabilitation.

Also read: Over 80 dead in Mumbai, Thane

He also assured the lawmakers that there would be no administrative delays in relief and rehabilitation work and that he would ask the banks and insurance companies to look into the problems of loans and settlement of claims.

The delegation submitted a memorandum urging the prime minister to provide Rs 5,000 crore ad hoc financial package to the state and making available Rs 1,200 crore for sewage and drainage system in Mumbai.

The legislators thanked the prime minister for his visit to the state and for providing Rs 1,000 crore as immediate assistance.

Dr Singh told the legislators that as the Prime Minister he was committed to the speedy and  effective rehabilitation of farmers, traders and small scale entrepreneurs not only in Mumbai but the entire state.

"If Maharashtra suffers, the nation also suffers," he said, adding that the special committee would decide the modalities for providing relief and rehabilitation.

Also read: Govt says epidemic, retracts

As regards the demand of legislators that the recovery of loans should be stopped for 3 years and fresh loans at subsidised rates be provided to farmers and others, he said he would talk to the Finance Ministry.

The MPs wanted the Centre to ask the Geological Survey of India to conduct an expert survey of the Konkan hills in view of the wide cracks developed in them during the monsoon.

The MPs also pleaded with the Prime Minister to take up with Karnataka the issue of releasing water from the Almatti dam on Krishna river as floods in large parts of western Maharashtra were being attributed to not opening the sluice gates at the proper time.


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