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Shinde to use good offices with Centre

By Our Special Correspondent

MACHILIPATNAM, JAN. 5. The Governor, Sushil Kumar Shinde, has assured the representatives of political parties that he would take up with the Chief Minister, Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, and the Central Government the issue of expediting the relief works in the tsunami-affected coastal areas. "The Governments at the State and Centre are with the affected people and all the necessary help will be provided to them," he said.

The Governor, who was here on Wednesday to inspect the damages caused by the tsunami waves, received representations from political parties urging him to ask the State and Central Governments to increase the quantum of the relief being provided to the affected villages besides ensuring complete rehabilitation of the people.

People caught unawares

Addressing a public meeting organised later, the Governor lamented that the tsunami wave that hit the South Indian coast caught the people unawares as the country did not have the required system to warn the people.

"We have seen natural calamities like cyclones for which we have a disaster management system in place. But we never heard about the tsunami," he said.

Mr. Shinde, however, appreciated the people of all religions who came forward to contribute their share in providing relief to the affected people.

"When a crisis like tsunami strikes, it affects all irrespective of their religion," he said.

Blood bank inaugurated

The Governor, who inaugurated a blood bank set up by the Indian Red Cross Society and named after Bhogaraju Pattabhi Seetaramaiah, recalled the contribution of Mr. Seetaramaiah in the freedom struggle.

He unveiled the portrait of Seetaramaiah and laid the foundation stone for the construction of a yoga and nature cure centre on the blood bank premises.

Accompanied by the local MLAs, MP and the Higher Education Minister, Pinnamaneni Venkateswara Rao, Mr. Shinde also visited the Manginapudi beach and inquired about the damages to life and property there.

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