Flood situation eases in Andhra Pradesh
The flood situation in Andhra Pradesh eased Monday with rain water receding in the worst-hit districts in coastal areas and the authorities restoring road and rail traffic.
However, hundreds of villages in East Godavari, West Godavari, Visakhapatnam, Srikakulam, Krishna, Guntur and other districts remained inundated.
Officials said water levels were receding in rivulets, tanks and reservoirs, providing some respite to the flood-hit.
The rains triggered by Cyclone Nilam which crossed the coast near Chennai Oct 31 have battered the state, claiming 24 lives and damaging crops over five lakh hectares.
With Met Office forecasting more rains over the next 24 hours, the officials said the danger was not over yet. Several villages in Srikakulam district in north coastal Andhra bordering Orissa were flooded Monday due to overflowing rivulets, reservoirs and tanks.
Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, who postponed his visit to the flood-hit districts to Tuesday, reviewed the situation at a meeting of officials in Hyderabad.
He decided to write to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, requesting him to depute a central team to assess the damages and recommend financial assistance to the state.
Revenue, relief and rehabilitation ministry officials told reporters after a meeting that agriculture crops over 5.25 lakh hectares and horticulture crops over 25,000 hectares were damaged.
As many as 1,300 tanks breached and 1,274 houses and 7,000 km roads were damaged. He said 427 villages were facing drinking water problem while 225 villages were without electricity.
The authorities opened 170 relief camps sheltering 68,000 people in five districts.
The government decided to pay compensation of Rs.1.5 lakh each to the families of those killed. The chief minister directed the officials to rebuild the damaged houses and pay compensation to those who lost their cattle.
The ministers who attended the meeting recommended that the government buy the damaged paddy at minimum support price.
Leader of Opposition and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N. Chandrababu Naidu and YSR Congress party honorary president Y.S. Vijayamma visited flood-hit areas in Krishna district and called on the affected people.
Both the leaders alleged that the government's inaction and negligence led to the massive losses.