Visakhapatnam: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday announced Rs.1,000 crore as interim relief for cyclone-hit Andhra Pradesh and promised all assistance after a detailed survey of the losses.
He made the announcement after visiting parts of the worst-affected port city and a review meeting with Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and senior officials.
Modi, who made an aerial survey of the affected areas of both north coastal Andhra and Odisha, said it was a major disaster and assured the Andhra government of all help in this hour of crisis.
He told reporters that the central government will send a team for a detailed survey of the losses.
He declared Rs.2 lakh from Prime Minister’s Relief Fund for families of each of those killed and Rs.50,000 to every injured.
The prime minister, who went around the damaged airport and some other places, said the crisis hit Andhra Pradesh at a time when he was planning to develop Visakhapatnam into a smart city.
“Fifteen days ago I was excited over my dream to make it a smart city. Suddenly this crisis has come. I am confident we will overcome this crisis,” he said.
He praised the weather department for using latest technology to issue advance warning and in making correct predictions with regard to velocity, direction and timing of the cyclone.
Modi said for five days both the central and Andhra governments worked in perfect coordination which helped to minimize the loss of lives.
“This proves that when the centre and state work shoulder to shoulder and in the right direction, they can overcome challenges however big they may be,” he said.
The prime minister lauded people of Visakhapatnam for their courage. Modi said water, electricity and communication will be restored within a few hours.
Modi said central government establishments like Coast Guard, navy, railways, airlines and national highways suffered huge losses.
He said separate surveys will be done in this regard and the centre will render all assistance.
Modi said farmers also suffered huge losses as their crops were destroyed. Noting losses to public property, he told insurance companies to send officials to Visakhapatnam and sympathetically process the claims at the earliest.
Naidu earlier sought Rs.2,000 crore as interim assistance and also wanted Modi to declare it a national calamity.
Earlier, Modi was received at the airport by Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan, Chief Minister Naidu, central ministers M. Venkaiah Naidu and P. Ashok Gajapati Raju and senior officials.
A severe cyclonic storm which hit the coast Sunday claimed 21 lives in Andhra and caused widespread damage to electricity, communication networks, roads and crops.
Visakhapatnam, the biggest city in the state, bore the brunt of the disaster.