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Manmohan to visit Gujarat, Maharashtra

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SUBMERGED: An aerial view of the temple town of Bhadrachalam in Khammam district of Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday. The Godavari was flowing well above the danger level of 53 ft. Rains have claimed 106 lives in Andhra Pradesh and 97 in Maharashtra. Lakhs of people have been evacuated in four States, including Gujarat and Chhattisgarh.
SUBMERGED: An aerial view of the temple town of Bhadrachalam in Khammam district of Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday. The Godavari was flowing well above the danger level of 53 ft. Rains have claimed 106 lives in Andhra Pradesh and 97 in Maharashtra. Lakhs of people have been evacuated in four States, including Gujarat and Chhattisgarh.

Special Correspondent

Andhra Pradesh gets Rs. 135.48 crore and Gujarat Rs. 96.86 crore from the Calamity Relief Fund

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will visit the flood-affected areas in Gujarat and Maharashtra on Thursday. Under instructions from the Prime Minister's Office, which is monitoring the flood situation, the Home Ministry is providing full logistic and financial support to Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Chhattisgarh.

The Centre has provided naval diving teams and helicopters to the four States. The first instalment of Central share of the Calamity Relief Fund, amounting to Rs. 135.48 crore, has been released to Andhra Pradesh and Rs. 96.86 crore given to Gujarat.

Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil will visit some of the flood-affected areas of Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday.

Union Home Secretary V.K. Duggal reviewed the flood situation in the country at an inter-ministerial meeting.

The meeting came a day after the Prime Minister spoke to the Chief Ministers of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Orissa on the situation.

PTI reports:

The flood situation in Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh was grim on Tuesday, with lakhs of people being evacuated to safer places in both States. A high alert was declared in Maharashtra's Marathwada and Vidarbha regions where 70 people have died in rain-related incidents over the past three days.

Over 2.5 lakh people were evacuated from different parts of south Gujarat, including Surat city, as major rivers flowed above the danger mark and authorities released water from swollen dams.

Over 70 per cent of Surat was submerged under water and the situation was expected to worsen as the administration had released over 10 lakh cusecs of water from the Ukai dam, said Gujarat Agriculture Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama.

Thousands of people in many parts of the city left their homes after the water release, officials said.

The flood situation in Vadodara too was grim, with the Vishwamitri river flowing five feet above the danger mark.

In Maharashtra, rains subsided in several areas, including Mumbai, but the situation continued to be serious in Nanded district, where the Godavari was flowing a metre above the danger level, officials said.

Heavy rain in Marathwada and Vidarbha regions over the past three days claimed 70 lives. PTI

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