Wants Centre to give a relief package of Rs. 5,000 crore

A Bharatiya Janata party delegation here on Monday demanded in a memorandum to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that Uttarakhand be declared disaster-struck and given a package of Rs.5,000 crore.

At least 150 people have already lost their lives. In the unprecedented situation caused by incessant rains triggering mud-slides, landslips, floods, water-logging, closure of several highways, snapping of communication systems and washing away of people and thousands of dwellings, the State government is facing a crisis-like situation.

Almost all the major rivers — Yamuna, Gomti, Koshi, Saryu and Kaali — are in spate and overflowing their embankments, while the Tehri Dam has reached the permissible level of 830 metres.

The upstream Bhagirathi also continues to swell in the face of heavy rains, the memorandum pointed out.

The delegation comprised L.K. Advani, Venkaiah Naidu, Ravi Shankar Prasad, S.S. Ahluwalia and Tarun Vijay.

Besides a relief package for the State, the BJP wants help from the Border Roads Organisation and the National Highways Authority of India, and allotment of four helicopters to enable the State government to provide essential food and medicines to villages.

It also wants continuous monitoring of the flood situation by the Central Water Commission.

The five-page memorandum pointed out that thousands of villagers, many of them decorated ex-servicemen, needed to be relocated.