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PM declares Rs 500 crore for flood-hit Assam

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Monday announced an aid package of Rs 500 crore for Assam, which has been severely hit by floods, causing an estimated 65 deaths and inundating large stretches of land, including cropland.

The announcement came after the prime minister and Congress president Sonia Gandhi undertook an aerial survey of some flood affected districts of the state Monday.

‘The Rs 500 crore is sanctioned for immediate relief of the state. A central team has reached the state on Monday and will start assessing the total damage of the floods in the state and all the required financial assistance will be extended to the state government based on the assessment of the central team,’ said the prime minister, while reading out a statement before the media at LGBI International Airport near Guwahati.

According to the state Disaster Management Authority [SDMA], the floods, affecting all 27 districts of the state, killed at least 65 people till Sunday. Another 16 people were killed in the past two weeks due to landslides, caused by heavy flooding and incessant rainfall.

The prime minister, who is a Rajya Sabha member from Assam, also assured the state of efforts to restore the railway line in the Lumding-Badarpur Hill section of the Northeast Frontier Railway [NFR].

The railway ministry has already been instructed to take up immediate steps to restore the railway line as it is a lifeline for the people in Assam's Barak Valley, as well as neighbouring Mizoram and Tripura.

With the flood waters receding at some places, Manmohan Singh said the primary focus now would be on rescuing people who have been left marooned in flood-hit areas and providing relief to them.
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