Patna: Congress today demanded that last week's cyclonic storm in Bihar be declared a national calamity and the state be granted a special package.
A Congress delegation led by its state unit President Ashok Kumar Chaudhary submitted a five-point memorandum to the President and Prime Minister through Brajesh Mehtrotra, the Principal Secretary to Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi, urging the Centre to declare the devastations caused by storm a national calamity.
The Congress has further demanded grant of a special package to Bihar for relief and rehabilitation of extensive damage caused to houses and crops of the people in East and North-East districts due to storm.
Waiver of farmers' loan, payment of adequate ex-gratia to the family members of the victims and putting in place measures for modernisation of meteorological department in order to ensure advance warning about natural calamity prominently figured in the Congress' demand.
The Congress Legislature Party leader in the legislative council Madan Mohan Jha, Ramchandra Bharti (MLC) were among those present as well as several former legislators.
After having visited storm-hit districts, including Purnia which bore the brunt of the calamity yesterday, Chaudhary claimed as many as 64 people had died in the calamity which had destroyed thousands of houses and extensively damaged standing crops.