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Centre quick to grant relief to other states, but laid back when it comes to Northeast: Gogoi

Assam CM said that the Centre was yet to depute an assessment team despite an assurance by union home minister Rajnath Singh and that the state has been left in the lurch.

Written by Samudra Gupta Kashyap | Guwahati |
Updated: December 6, 2015 5:13:08 am
tarun gogoi, assam, chennai floods, chennai funds, assam relief, chennai relief, assam news, chennai news, india news Chief Minister of Assam Tarun Gogoi in Guwahati on Saturday. (PTI Photo)

One day after prime minister Narendra Modi visited the Chennai floods and announced a Rs 1000-crore package, Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi said the Centre had shown its “lackadaisical attitude” towards Assam when it came to releasing flood relief fund.

Read full coverage of Chennai floods

“The Centre’s lackadaisical attitude in the matter of flood relief fund to Assam has come to the fore as it is yet to send an assessment team to make a survey of the damages caused by floods this year that claimed several lives,” Gogoi said in a statement here on Saturday. He said that the Centre was yet to depute an assessment team despite an assurance by union home minister Rajnath Singh and that the state has been left in the lurch.

“At the time of (this year’s) floods, the union home minister gave an assurance that there would be no dearth of relief fund to flood-hit Assam. But, several months have elapsed, and the Centre is yet to depute an assessment team to the state,” Gogoi said. “This laid-back approach of the Modi-led government has added to the woes of the people,” he rued.

The Assam chief minister also complained that while the Centre was prompt in announcing special packages for Jammu and Kashmir and Tamil Nadu, it was also yet to send a fact-finding team to Assam to take stock of the damages wrecked by floods this year.

“The Centre is quick to respond when calamities like floods hit other states. But when it comes to Assam and other Northeastern states, it is always found wanting,” Gogoi said “How could such a laid-back approach help in boosting Modi-led government’s Act East Policy?” he asked.

“The Centre has also not provided any separate flood relief fund to Assam. Whatever amount we have got so far was anyway due under the SDRF scheme. In any case, we would have received it,” Gogoi added.

He pointed out that in addition to SDRF, the Disaster Management Act also provided for giving special central assistance to any state through a separate fund called National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) to deal with any situation arising out of various natural calamities, which was not sanctioned in case of Assam. The state was yet to receive the special central assistance under the NDRF even for the devastating floods of 2014, he said.

The Assam chief minister recalled that his government had submitted a memorandum to the Ministry of Home Affairs seeking total funds for Rs 1526.19 crore for carrying out repair work after the 2015 floods.

“This included Rs 860.17 crore for repair of breaches in embankments, Rs 200 crore for restoration of roads and bridges, Rs 208.63 crore for crop damage, Rs 67.10 crore for repair of anganwadi centres, Rs 37.95 crore for repair of school buildings, Rs 59.04 crore for repair of fully and partially damaged houses, Rs 58.69 crore for rescue and relief operations, among others,” he said.

He also pointed out that while 64 persons died in this year’s floods, and over 36.67 lakh people were affected in five successive waves of floods that had hit the state in a span of four months.

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