Gogoi seeks Rs 500 cr flood assistance from Prime Minister

Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi for Rs 500 crore assistance for the flood-hit state. In a letter to the Prime Minister, Gogoi pleaded for Rs 500 crore to meet the emergent flood situation in the state. He urged the Prime Minister for an immediate release of Rs 387 crore under the National Disaster Response Fund. “I am given to understand that the sanctioned amount for Rs 387 crore under NDRF is to be adjusted against the unspent balance of State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF), which will be a grave injustice because the unspent balance of SDRF is committed against projects already sanctioned and we, in fact, need more funds to meet the committed liabilities,” Gogoi said.

The CM requested Modi to release the Central share of Rs 257 crore against Flood Management Programme (FMP) schemes taken up under the 11th Plan for which the state government has already released its share. The Chief Minister further pleaded for release of the Central share for Rs 1,016 crore for FMP schemes under the 12th Plan.

Meanwhile, Gogoi also met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi and sought immediate financial assistance for Rs 500 crore for Assam to carry out relief, rehabilitation and restoration works of infrastructures damaged by floods and erosion, said a government release. Giving a detailed account of the damages caused by floods to human lives, cattle, crops, infrastructure and other properties, Gogoi said the current fourth wave of floods has affected 19 districts, the worst being Kokrajhar, Dhubri, Bongaigaon, Chirang, Barpeta and Goalpara.

“Around 8.5 lakh people of more than 1,400 villages had to bear the brunt of flood. We had to set up nearly 300 relief camps for about two lakh people evacuated from the flood affected villages. Flood has claimed 27 human lives so far,” he said.

Gogoi apprised Singh of the extensive damages to embankments with breaches at 28 locations and that preliminary assessment conducted by the State Water Resources Department revealed that Rs 63 crore would be required for plugging the breaches and Rs 200 crore for restoration of critically damaged flood management structures, the release said.

He told Singh that preliminary assessment of the flood damages to infrastructure, crops and properties have been going on and the final report would be submitted to the Ministry when flood waters recede, it said.

The Union Home Minister assured the Chief Minister that the demands of the state government would be under the active consideration of the Centre, the release added.

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