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New Delhi, September 29, 2011
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made an aerial survey of the areas of Sikkim devastated by the magnitude 6.8 earthquake that struck the state and neighbouring areas on September 18 and announced that the Centre was ready to provide assistance of Rs 1000 crore for relief, restoration and reconstruction work.
Dr Singh visited the capital Gangtok and then flew in a helicopter over the areas of Mangan, Chungthang, Lachen and Lachung. He also visited the injured at the Government Hospital in Gangtok.
He was briefed of the damage and loss of lives and the relief and rehabilitation efforts at a review meeting attended by the Governor B.P Singh, Chief Minister Pawan Chamling and senior officials.
The Prime Minister after the visit said that he was deeply saddened at the tragic loss of lives, the injuries and the extensive damage caused by the earthquake. The temblor claimed more than 75 lives in Sikkim alone.
Dr Singh said that a Central team of experts would reach Gangtok in the next week to identify appropriate design for damaged houses to be reconstructed. These constructions will be funded entirely by the Central government and from the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund.
He said the main access roads to Sikkim had been restored, the road from Mangan to Chungthang would be restored by mid- October, and work will continue to ensure that other roads were operational as early as possible.
A special dispensation will be provided under the Centrally-sponsored and central sector schemes for enabling the reconstruction of infrastructure like rural roads, school buildings, health centre buildings and anganwadi buildings.
The Prime Minister assured the state that work on restoration of drinking water supply sources, reconstruction of irrigation channels, and construction of flood protection works will alsobe taken up under central schemes. He said that damaged national monuments will be restored by the Ministry of Culture.