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Bihar floods: Rs 1,000 crore sanctioned
Anand Mohan Sahay in Patna | August 29, 2007 10:52 IST
Faced with floods that affected over 20 million people, the Bihar government has sanctioned a whopping sum of Rs 1,000 crore to compensate the losses suffered by flood victims in the state.
All farmers, including rich, marginal and small, will be given compensation from the funds.
Cabinet Secretary Girish Shankar said on Wednesday that this was the largest fund for relief and rehabilitation for the victims of natural disaster in Bihar.
"The state cabinet has approved Rs 1,000 crore from the Bihar Contingency Fund under different heads for flood relief and rehabilitation," Shankar said.
According to him, so far a total sum of Rs 1,302.59 crore has been sanctioned for the disaster victims this fiscal against the Budget allocation of Rs 102 crore under this head, he said.
The government has also sanctioned a sum of Rs 200 crore as disaster compensation fund in advance.
Official sources said that Rs 150 crore of Rs 1,000 crore would be used to provide agricultural input subsidies to affected farmers.
Another Rs 850 crore would be used to provide cash relief, foodgrains, fodder for cattle, medicines, repair and reconstruction of damaged houses and infrastructure including roads, bridges and embankments.
The affected marginal and small farmers would get Rs 2,000 per hectare from the state funds and Rs 2,000 per hectare from the Centre's Calamity Relief Fund.
"The state government has decided to provide compensation to bigger or rich farmers, who are not covered under the scheme as agricultural input subsidies at the same rate but upto a maximum of Rs 8,000," Shankar said.
However, farmers who own less than one acre of land will get at least Rs 500 .
"The payment will be made on the basis of actual land holdings after identification by local administration and panchayat representatives. The actual distribution of money will be done in the presence of the monitoring panel headed by local panchyat mukhiya," Shankar said.
Official sources in the state government said the total deaths in the current floods crossed the 520 mark on Wednesday.
Over 20.5 million people in 9,939 villages under 225 blocks spread in 20 districts were affected by floods.
The floods destroyed standing crops worth Rs 727.82 crore in 15.88 lakh hectares and damaged 5,21,441 houses.