By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, June 24: Assam government today accused the Central government of holding back funds meant for flood and erosion magement schemes in the State.
State Water Resources minister Basanta Das said forty one flood magement schemes amounting to Rs 1,271 crore had received sanction in the fiscal year 2014-15. The funding pattern was 70:30, with a rider that the State will have to utilize its share of funds first after which the Centre will release its share. “We have utilized our share of Rs 290 crore and have submitted the utilization certificates. But the Centre has only released Rs 6.8 crore of its share of Rs 981 crore so far. Under such circumstances, we are uble to proceed with the works, mostly related to embankment construction and anti-erosion measures,” Das said, adding that he has shot off a letter to Union Water Resources minister Uma Bharti taking up the issue.
He said following the sanctioning of the schemes, work orders were given to contractors. “All the works have come to a standstill due to shortage of funds. We are also uble to pay the contractors,” the minister said. The minister said that the Centre is also yet to release Rs 257 crore approved under the 11th Plan for flood magement schemes. “Similarly, in the year 2012-13, the Centre released only Rs 2.50 crore of the total sanctioned amount of Rs 1,050 crore. We have also not received a single penny in the year 2013-14 though the Central government had approved Rs 933 crore,” Das alleged. Meanwhile, the Water Resources minister said this year already 16 embankment breaches have been reported in the State. As many as 76 embankments in the State have been identified as ‘most vulnerable’.