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DoNER minister warns of a premature epidemic


Centre releases Rs 340 crore to tackle Assam floods

GUWAHATI, June 26: Union Minister for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Jitendra Singh on Tuesday announced release of Rs 340 crore to Assam to effectively tackle flood relief, rehabilitation and repair works even as he sounded an alarm bell that the State might get a premature epidemic due to early arrival of floods this year.

“We held a meeting this morning with officials of the Assam Government. We informed the State that the Centre has released Rs 340 crore as disaster relief fund,” Singh told reporters here on Tuesday.

Out of the total fund released to tackle floods, Rs 101 crore was released by the DoNER for infrastructures development projects, while the remaining Rs 239 crore was given by the Home Ministry under the State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF) account, Singh said.

“The SDRF fund would have come little late, but we sent this immediately so that the State has adequate resources in dealing with the situation,” he said.

Singh said the State Government officials have been requested to prepare and submit a detailed memorandum related to damages caused by the first wave of flood across Assam.

“We got a premature rainfall this year. So, there is a likelihood that we may get a premature epidemic like situation after the water recedes. Accordingly, I have requested the chief secretary to tell the concerned departments to get prepared for this,” Singh said.

On the occasion of four years of the NDA government at the Centre, Singh said the Modi government has decided to fully fund various central projects which are being implemented in the Northeast instead of the existing practice of sharing 90 per cent of the cost.

He said since the Modi dispensation had assumed office, the northeastern region had been given the utmost attention.

“A historic decision has been taken. There will be 100 per cent funding by the DoNER ministry’s for projects in the region which were earlier being undertaken on the basis of Centre-state sharing in the ratio of 90:10,” Singh said, adding that the overall budget for Northeast is now over Rs 50,000 crore, much more than the earlier times.

He also spoke about the 1975 Emergency imposed by the then Prime Minister late Indira Gandhi and termed it as the “darkest chapter” of Independent India.

“We are observing it to make the young India aware about this so that such things never happen again. It is also to guard the Constitution and anyone trying to take away liberties of people’s life,” Singh said.