Police on Wednesday said they had recovered 17 bodies of members of the same family among those found dead in flood-hit Gujarat, AFP reported. Officials pegged the flood-related toll in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state at 110. The bodies of the family were found in Banaskantha district.
“They seem to have drowned in the floodwaters,” Police Inspector A B Parmar told AFP. “The bodies were found buried in muck.”
More than 36,000 people have been evacuated during the rescue and relief operations. On Tuesday, Modi had announced an interim aid of Rs 500 crore for the state after conducting an aerial survey of the affected areas. The prime minister also said that an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh will be given from the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund to the families of those killed in the deluge and Rs 50,000 to those seriously injured.
Besides Gujarat, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and parts of Bihar and Odisha have also been hit by the extreme weather conditions. Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati had Modi of ignoring other states that also have been affected by the floods. “He is not the chief minister of Gujarat, but the prime minister of India,” Mayawati had said.
The perceived neglect was shared by several sections of society. “Forget the announcement of an aid package, the PM did not even consider visiting Assam himself or sending a senior minister,” said farmers activist Akhil Gogoi, the Hindustan Times reported.
Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari announced a Rs 200 crore initial package for the immediate repair of national highways damaged in the flood-hit state, the English daily reported. Assam had asked the Centre for Rs 2,393 crore in funds to carry out repairs in the aftermath of the statewide floods.