Jairam Ramesh announces 340-crore Uttarakhand village roads improvement

Gaurikund (Uttarakhand), June 20 (ANI): Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh on Thursday announced a separate Rs. 340 crore special package for Uttarakhand for constructing village roads in the flood-ravaged hill state.

"The Ministry of Rural Development is working on special road and housing package for Uttarkhand in view of calamity. Next week we are going to consider 82 roads and 27 bridges, a total of 664 kms at a total cost of about Rs 340 crores. This we will sanction next week," Ramesh said.

In view of the calamity, the Rural Development Ministry is also working on giving special assistance to Uttarakhand for constructing village houses under its ambitious Indira Awas Yojana (IAY).

The minister's decision came a day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced a Rs 1,000 crore special flood relief package to the state.

Earlier, in its report to the Union Home Ministry, the Uttarakhand State Disaster Mitigation and Management Centre has said that casualties in the affected areas may run into thousands with about 90 'dharamashalas' (rest houses for pilgrims) swept away in the flash floods. However, the toll has been kept officially at 150.

The turbulent Mandakini River swallowed huge swathes of land near the Kedarnath shrine. Officials said most of the government and private hotels and lodges and 100 shops around the temple have been flattened. (ANI)

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