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Dispur scrambling for Central aid

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  3 Aug 2016 12:00 AM GMT

Flood & erosion damage


GUWAHATI, Aug 2: Despite Union Home Minister Rajth Singh’s statement that declaring flood and erosion in Assam as ‘tiol calamity’ would not help solve the State’s perennial problem, Dispur is hoping it will receive additiol fincial assistance from the Centre to tackle the devastation caused by the current wave of floods in the State.

The deluge has already caused much destruction of infrastructure, with many embankments, roads, houses, etc., damaged or completely washed away.

Sources said the State government will send a report to the Home Ministry assessing the damage caused by the deluge, and amount of fund needed to rebuild the damaged infrastructure. As per rules, when any tural disaster takes place, the State government files a report assessing the damage to the Centre, which in turn sends a Central team to verify the situation on the ground. The Central government then considers releasing funds for relief and rehabilitation to the State government, based on the report submitted by the expert team.

The State government is trying hard to submit the detailed report to the Home Ministry as soon as the Central team arrives in the State in September next, and is expecting that the much needed fincial grant would be given to the State.

According to sources, the Assam government has Rs 620 crore lying with the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF). Last year, the State government had a liability of Rs 200 crore as it didn’t release the fund to contractors who were hired for works under SDRF. For the fincial year 2016-17, the Central government has sanctioned Rs 483 crore under SDRF on 90:10 basis. Of the sanctioned amount, Rs 217.35 crore was released by the Centre.

It may be mentioned here that SDRF is non-lapsable and a small amount was saved there earlier. As of now, the Assam government has released Rs 47 crore to the affected districts for flood relief from SDRF, added the sources.

It will now be interesting to see whether the NDA government at the Centre releases funds to the State or not, with the same party ruling both.

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