Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday announced Rs 1,000 crore for disaster relief measures in flood-devastated parts of Uttarakhand where 102 persons have been killed and thousands left stranded at tourist spots and pilgrim centres.
Singh, who undertook an aerial survey of rain-ravaged Uttarakhand alongwith UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, said what they saw was "most distressing" and the priority for the authorities was to rescue the stranded and provide succour to those most in need of it.
Over 10,000 personnel of the armed forces, 18 helicopters and a transport plane of the Air Force have been deployed for relief and rescue operations in the state where thousands have been stranded at tourist spots and pilgrim centres.
"What Chairperson UPA and I saw today was most distressing. While the most recent estimates put the death toll at 102, it is feared that loss of lives could eventually be much higher," Singh told reporters here.
He said more than 10,000 people have been rescued and were being provided food, clothing and shelter. "Many persons still remain stranded. The maximum damage has been in Kedarnath and its vicinity," he said.
"I have decided to provide an amount of Rs 1000 crore to Uttarakhand for disaster relief, of which Rs 145 crore is being released immediately," Singh said after a meeting with state Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna.
Singh said he has also directed all Central Agencies to render all possible assistance in their domain to the State. The Prime Minister announced ex-gratia assistance of Rs two lakh each to the families of those who have lost their lives and Rs 50,000 each to those injured.
In addition, ex-gratia assistance of Rs one lakh each would also be provided to those whose houses have been completely destroyed and Rs 50,000 each to those whose houses have been damaged.