Guwahati, April 22: Last year’s devastating floods are a living memory today, and as the people of the State await another monsoon with its usual fury, the State government lies virtually crippled in the vacuum of funds to fight flood fury.
The 90:10 ratio in the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) suffers from lack of aid from the Centre as of now, despite visits by two Central teams in the aftermath of the floods last year, including the Prime Minister’s visit. The State has received only normal allocation, not any additional funds to fight floods or to mitigate flood woes.
As March 31, 2018, under SDRF, Rs 174 crore is available, but the committed liability stands at about Rs 500 crore – this chasm reflects on the need for additional funds to counter the effects of floods. In 2018-19, the State government is to receive Rs 532 crore under SDRF.
Since floods are an annual phenomenon, and one cannot expect any miracle from Rain God this time, the shortfall of funds is poised to be a big impediment to any move, however sincere, of the State government to address flood worries. So much so, that even under the Flood Management Programme (FMP) run by the State Water Resources Department, several crores of rupees are yet to be received from the Centre.