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Home minister announces Rs 500 cr package for Assam flood

Stung by an aroused criticism, Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil has announced a package of Rs 500 crore to deal with the flood fury in Assam.

Addressing a press conference after winding up his aerial survey on the flood affected areas in the state on Sunday, Mr Patil also announced adequate compensation by the Centre to the next of kin of the 35 people who lost their lives in floods this year.

Patil said, "after consultations with the prime minister, it was decided to announce Rs 500 crore to provide immediate relief and rehabilitation to the flood affected people. I only have one condition that the state spends Rs 300 crore first and when Rs 50 to Rs 60 crore is left, ask for the remaining Rs 200 crore which will be released immediately.”

Patil admitted long-term comprehensive planning was required to ensure floods in the Brahmaputra did not create havoc and for this Rs 83,000 crore would be required.

According to Patil, the chief minister's step of first helping flood-affected people with funds available in the coffers of the state government and then asking the prime minister for funds was "highly appreciated and will be treated as an example for the rest of the country".
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