Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday made an aerial survey of flood-hit areas of Bihar and announced Rs 500 crore as immediate relief for the state besides Rs 2 lakh each to the kin of those who died in the deluge.
He also said a central team would be sent to the state soon to assess the damage caused by the floods, the Prime Minister’s Office said.
He asked the insurance companies to send their personnel urgently to assess the damage to crops so that farmers could get early relief.
The decisions came after the prime minister held a meeting with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi and senior officials of the state government, following his aerial survey.
The meeting was held at Chunapur Airport of Air Force from where the PM later flew back to Delhi.
“After the review, the prime minister promised all possible support to the Bihar government,” the PMO said in a statement.
The PM made the aerial survey of four affected districts -- Purnea, Katihar, Kisanganj and Araria. The chief minister and his deputy accompanied the PM, official sources said.
The PM was told that though 19 districts are affected by floods, damage in 13 districts including Purnea, Katihar, Kisanganj, Araria due to inundation has been immense, the sources said.
Maximum damage has been caused to water resources department. The PM was told that due to breach of embankments and waterways for irrigation, a loss of about Rs 2,700 crore has been accrued by the department.
Around Rs 2,000 crore is estimated to have been spent in distribution of relief among marooned population of the state, it came out in the meeting.
Among other things, Modi said the union road transport and highways ministry would take appropriate action with regard to repair of the damaged roads in Bihar.
He said the infrastructure damaged due to the floods would be restored at the earliest with the central help, the statement said.
He announced Rs 2 lakh as ex-gratia from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund for each of those killed and Rs 50,000 each for those seriously injured, the PMO said.
He also referred to his recent talks with Nepal Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba during which it was decided that a detailed project report would be prepared at the earliest on the Saptkoshi Dam and Sunkoshi Storage-cum-Diversion scheme.
Both nations would also work on flood control in the border areas, which will benefit the region, it added.
The PM assured the state government that the Centre would provide all help to compensate the loss due to floods, the sources said.
As per the latest report, death toll in Bihar has mounted to 418, with 1.67 crore people in 19 districts being affected by the deluge.
Earlier on Saturday morning, the PM arrived at Chunapur Airport from Delhi. He was welcomed by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, his deputy Sushil Modi, Disaster Management Department Minister Dinesh Chand Yadav and Chief Secretary Anjani Kumar Singh among others.
This was the first visit of the PM to Bihar since the Janata Dal-United-Bharatiya Janata Party coalition government was formed on July 27 after Nitish Kumar dumped the Grand Alliance over graft issue.