Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday announced a R500-crore assistance for flood-hit Uttarakhand even as at least 14 persons were killed in western UP in the past 24 hours in rain-related incidents.
The Rishikesh-Badrinath road in Uttarakhand is closed for six days in a row. The road is the one that pilgrims take while going to some of the holiest shrines in the country.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on Wednesday declared the flood-affected western part of the state a “disaster zone” and wrote to Singh seeking R2,000 crore for the state.
UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi has spoken to Singh and sought a package for UP.
The number of deaths in western UP has gone up to 270.
“We are keeping a strict watch on the flood situation,” Mayawati said, adding that Narora had been kept under observation because it had an atomic power station.
In Uttarakhand people going to Delhi from Dehradun are forced to take the circuitous path via Haridwar because the shortest route is disrupted at Mohand on the outskirts of Dehradun.
The roads to Uttarkashi have been damaged and are closed. In view of this, the district administration has decided to close all the schools and educational institutions till September 27.
In Bihar, the National Highway that had closed on Sunday owing to a breach in an embankment on the Gandak river opened for light vehicles on Wednesday after the floodwaters ebbed.
“The situation will improve as the discharge in the river has stabilised and hardly 4,000 cusecs is flowing into the countryside through the breached portion of the embankment,” said Engineer-in-Chief (North) Rajeshwar Dayal.
Though the floodwaters were submerging new areas, he said it was a natural thing to happen. “The water is passing through vents and culverts and flowing at a very low level, and this will help in the irrigation of paddy,” he said.