Cyclone-hit Andhra hopeful of liberal central aid

Rosaiah, who will leave for Delhi Sunday evening, said he would meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi to submit reports about the damages caused by the cyclonic storm Laila.

The chief minister, who Saturday conducted an aerial survey of the cyclone-hit districts, Sunday said the state had been sending daily reports about the damages but he would submit a consolidated report.

He said the state would seek central financial assistance after receiving final assessment about the losses from affected districts.
"Since the state is receiving one blow after another, I am confident that the centre will come forward to extend liberal assistance," he said.
The state last year faced unprecedented flood in Krishna river and also witnessed months of street protests for and against separate statehood to Telangana, severely affecting business and industry.

The government asked district collectors to enumerate the losses and submit reports by May 25. Based on these reports, the government will submit a memorandum to the central government seeking financial assistance.

Meanwhile, normalcy is fast returning to the cyclone-hit coastal region.
The state-owned Road Transport Corporation and railways have resumed services. The electricity supply has also been restored.

The government continued relief camps in the affected districts Sunday.
More than 70,000 people had taken shelter in 300 relief camps. Majority of them have returned home since Saturday morning.

Heavy rains and gales under the influence of cyclone Laila claimed 23 lives and caused widespread damage to infrastructure and crops. South coastal districts of Prakasam, Guntur, Krishna and Nellore were worst hit.
According to a government statement Sunday, an estimated 25,000 houses were damaged.

Agricultural crops like paddy, summer cotton, sesamum, groundnut, blackgram, maize and sunflower crops over 15,000 hectares were damaged.
Horticulture crops, including mango, banana, papaya, acid lime, guava and cashew, over 12,000 hectares were affected, the statement said.

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