Rajnath announces Rs 286 cr additional central assistance to flood-hit Assam

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today announced Rs 286 crore central assistance to flood-hit Assam, which will be in addition to Rs 386 crore already released to the state.

PTI| Last Updated: Oct 02, 2014, 00:49 AM IST
Rajnath announces Rs 286 cr additional central assistance to flood-hit Assam

Guwahati: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today announced Rs 286 crore central assistance to flood-hit Assam, which will be in addition to Rs 386 crore already released to the state.

After conducting an aerial survey of the affected regions in Assam and Meghalaya during the day, Singh told reporters that the Centre would help all flood-affected states as much as possible.

"We have already released Rs 386 crore to Assam. We have sanctioned an additional amount of Rs 286 crore, which will be released soon," he said.

Singh said the Centre has also sanctioned an additional amount of Rs 8 crore for Meghalaya and Rs 20 crore for Arunachal Pradesh.

The Centre has already released Rs 123 crore for Meghalaya and Rs 70 crore for Arunachal Pradesh, he added.

The Home Minister said over 150 persons have lost their lives in these three states due to the floods.

Meanwhile, in Meghalaya Rajnath Singh said an inter-ministerial team would assess the damages caused by flash floods and landslides in Meghalaya and assured maximum assistance to help in rebuilding the damages.

"I have told the Chief Minister to submit a memorandum to the Centre, after which an inter-ministerial team will visit to assess the damages," Singh told reporters in Tura.

"I have assured maximum assistance to the Meghalaya government," he said.

The Union Home Minister conducted an aerial survey of the affected regions in the state before being received by Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, Dy CM R C Laloo, Tura MP P A Sangma and government representatives.

"The state government has Rs 124 crore. I have asked the Chief Minister to spend that fund. The next instalment will be released immediately, we have already written to the Finance Ministry," Singh said.

Assuring that both Assam and Meghalaya would get full cooperation from the Centre to undertake rebuilding exercises, Singh denied alleged discrimination to states on party lines.

At a review meeting, the state government sought the Centre's assistance to raise a dedicated battalion of State Disaster Response Force (SDRF).

Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma urged the Union Home Minister to take up the issue of telecommunication and mobile connectivity as parts of the region was without any connectivity during the floods.

"The earthquake prone region of North East needs a dedicated connectivity to address communication matters in times of crisis, when connectivity in the state fails. We request you to intervene in this regard," Mukul told Rajnath in a review meeting.

Later, Sangma said his government was doing its best in helping the affected victims of flash floods and landslide.

"From the extent of damage, he (Singh) has understood what kind of support the state government will require in addressing the issues of the affected families," he said.

The Chief Minister also said the Union Home Minister has directed the state government to prepare a detailed memorandum including all aspects of damages.

"For now, we will be releasing funds based on actual requirements to all line departments, which is available with the state," Sangma said.

Mukul also sought the Centre's aid in construction of raised landing grounds in all block headquarters of Meghalaya after ten of the 11 districts were affected.