Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday announced an immediate relief of Rs 500-crore for flood ravaged Bihar.
Modi made the announcement after an aerial survey of flood affected Araria, Purnia, Katihar and Kishanganj districts in northeast Bihar and review of relief and rehabilitation schemes with chief minister Nitish Kumar and Bihar government officers at Purnia, 368 km east of Patna.
The PM also assured all possible assistance for relief measures and promised that a central team will be sent to assess the damage. He instructed that in order to assess the claims of farmers' crop insurance; the insurance companies should send their supervisors to the flood-affected areas so that the farmers can be provided relief immediately. The Road and Transport Ministry has also been directed to take appropriate action to repair all flood-damaged roads and electricity infrastructure in the state.
Prior to the aerial survey, Modi chaired a review meeting in Purnia with senior officials, the CM and deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi.
Modi also announced payment of Rs 2 lakh each to the family of those killed and Rs 50,000 to injured in the floods from the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund.
Earlier, Modi arrived at Chunapur airbase, Purnia, by a special aircraft. He was received at by Kumar and deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi.
Soon after his arrival, Modi, along with Kumar, left for aerial survey of the flood affected districts. After a 50-minute aerial survey, Modi discussed flood relief schemes with the chief minister and Bihar government officers at the Chunapur airbase conference hall.
Lalu Prasad Yadav-led RJD questioned the purpose of Modi’s visit to the state now that the water has already receded in many parts. Talking to news agency ANI, the former Bihar CM accused Nitish Kumar of engineering the floods, he said, "Bihar mein baadh aaya nahi baadh laya gaya, Nitish ka engineer baandh (dam) kaat ke baadh le aaya, (Floods did not occur itself in Bihar it was brought by engineers of Nitish Kumar by diverting dams).” Targeting the PM on his relief package Lalu said, "When Bihar suffered with floods in past Modi ji didn’t feel it was important enough to visit, didn’t allocate even a single penny.”
Over one crore seventy lakh people in have been affected by the floods in the state. The death toll has mounted to 415, with 21 districts being affected by the deluge.
In the last few days, CM Nitish Kumar visited a couple of flood-hit areas in the state to take stock of the situation. However, affected people alleged that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-Janata Dal (United) (JD(U)) government has not done enough to give relief to them.