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Central team visiting flood-hit Bihar


Patna : A central team is visiting Bihar to assess the damage caused by this year’s floods that have claimed over 600 lives and affected 21 million people, officials said Tuesday.

The nine-member central team would hold talks with top officials and tour different parts of the state during their two-day visit to take stock of the damage to standing crops, infrastructure and public and private property, said Manoj Srivastava, commissioner of the state disaster management department.

The team is to return to Delhi Friday, he added. The Centre, on the basis of the report submitted by the team, will decide the quantum of central assistance for Bihar.

The state government had last week sought central aid worth Rs.80 billion for various schemes and rehabilitation of flood victims. A sum of Rs.10 billion has already been sanctioned for the victims from the Bihar Contingency Fund.

Official sources said Rs.1.5 billion would be paid as agriculture input subsidy to the affected farmers. Another Rs.8.5 billion would be given as cash relief for food grains, fodder for cattle, medicines, repair and reconstruction of damaged houses and infrastructure.

The marginal and small farmers would get Rs.2,000 per hectare from the state funds and Rs.2,000 per hectare from the central government’s calamity relief fund.

The Bihar government has also decided to provide compensation to rich farmers, who are not covered under the scheme, as agricultural input subsidy at the same rate but up to a maximum of Rs.8,000 per hectare.

The floods destroyed standing crops worth Rs.8.28 billion and damaged 521,441 houses, official sources said.