Tourism Ministry will release Rs.1 crore for the relief and rehabilitation of people

Efforts are on to declare the floods in Uttarakhand a national calamity, Union Minister of State for Tourism K. Chiranjeevi has said.

The Union Minister, who came by a special flight from Hyderabad to participate in several programmes in Guntur District, changed his tour programme to call on the relatives of about 10 people who went to Kedarnath and are believed dead in the flash floods.

The Minister spent over half an hour speaking with P. Annapurna, who survived after spending three days on a tree, and with the relatives of persons who went missing.

Addressing the media, Mr. Chiranjeevi said that it was true that relief operations were not as effective as expected. The Tourism Ministry would release Rs.1 crore for the relief and rehabilitation of people affected by the flash floods in Uttarakhand. The staff of the Tourism Department had come forward to donate one-day salary for the benefit of the flood-affected, he said. An appeal would be made to all the hoteliers, who come under the purview of the Tourism Ministry, to contribute their might to help those affected by the disaster. The Minister also said that he would appeal to his fans in Hyderabad to donate when he goes there in the next couple of days. When asked about the ex-gratia that would be paid to the kin of victims, he said that the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister were looking into the matter.

He said that such a disaster was unheard of in the recent past and the number of persons killed, or stranded was still unknown. Andhra PCC president Botcha Satyanarayana, Vijayawada Central MLA Malladi Vishnu and West MLA Vellampalli Srinivas accompanied the Minister.

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