Babu Dharna at AP Bhavan
Lashes out at govt for inept handling Venkat Parsa New Delhi : In a dramatic turn of events, TDP supremo...
Lashes out at govt for inept handling
Venkat Parsa New Delhi : In a dramatic turn of events, TDP supremo N Chandrababu Naidu on Sunday night staged a dharna at the Andhra Pradesh Bhavan in the Capital, protesting against the slackening of relief work by the State Government.
As a fresh batch of pilgrims from the flood-ravaged Uttarakhand arrived at the AP Bhavan, Naidu was overwhelmed by scenes of aged persons, who were ill and were seen lying in the foyer and flared up suddenly, saying the State Government was apathetic to the tribulations of the pilgrims hailing from Andhra Pradesh. There was no food and proper medical attention being made available to the pilgrims from Andhra Pradesh, he said. "Why cannot this Government at least provide food for the people and arrange special planes to fly the pilgrims from the State back home?" asked Chandrababu Naidu.
In comparison, the Tamil Nadu and Gujarat Governments did more, he said. Naidu expressed shock and surprise that Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy did not rise to the occasion. Even after a week since the disaster struck, the State Government failed to send all the pilgrims back to their homes, he said.
Naidu distributed 10,000 rupees each to 40 victims and promised to bare the expenditure for their return. The TDP supremo was accompanied, among others, by his Parliamentary Party leader Nama Nageshwar Rao, K Narayana and Gundu Sudha Rani. He is likely to visit Uttarakhand on Monday for a first-hand assessment of the problem. Pilgrims from Srikakulam had gone by a special bus to Uttarakhand, but had to return without visiting the destinations, as they were caught up in the flood fury. When they reached the Capital, their bus ran out of diesel and they had to walk down to AP Bhavan.
The late TDP leader K Yerran Naidu's son, K Ram Mohan Naidu, came forward to provide them food, give them money for enough diesel to reach Srikakulam and he even provided them with food required on the way.
Naidu on his way to Uttarakhand
- To be accompanied by 20-member medical team
- Demands Centre declare it national disaster
- Demands Rs 10 lakh ex gratia to families of victims
- Sends letter to PM expressing concern
Hyderabad: A day after his return from the US, TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu is bound for Uttarakhand to study the situation first hand. Accompanied by a 20-member medical team, he will reach Dehradun by air on his way to Kedarnath and other flood- hit areas on Monday morning. The TDP leader sent a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, calling for measures to achieve better co-ordination among different agencies and departments engaged in rescue and relief operations as the evacuation of pilgrims had to be completed under a time-bound programmee in view of the threat of fresh rains looming large over Uttarakhand.
Alleging that the Union and State governments had failed to respond immediately to rescuing the stranded pilgrims on Char Dham yatra in Uttarakhand, Naidu demanded the Centre to declare the nature's fury a national disaster and provide an ex gratia of Rs 10 lakh each to the kin of the dead. Talking to the media in Hyderabad on Sunday, he stated that there was delay in carrying out rescue and relief operations. People stranded in the forest fringes of Himalayas were getting restive. Lauding the Army's efforts to save the pilgrims' lives, Naidu wanted the rescue operations to be stepped up for getting all the pilgrims back home on war footing.
Demanding the government to press into service more choppers to rescue the pilgrims before it was too late, the TDP chief wanted all the departments such as Defence, Home, Agriculture, Health and Water Resources to be involved in an effective manner. Stating that he would be visiting Uttarakhand to console the victims at relief camps on Monday, Naidu said there were also reports of non- availability of food and drinking water and the threat of outbreak of diseases. He asked the government to arrange special flights for the rescued pilgrims to reach their destinations as the victims were under severe psychological trauma and physical distress.
Coming down heavily on the State government for not taking immediate necessary steps to rescue the pilgrims, Naidu demanded the administration to make special efforts to rescue the victims. Of 10,000 AP pilgrims who were in Uttarakhand at the time of disaster, only 3000 reached to safe places so far. It is feared that others might have got stuck at various places, Naidu added.
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