Concerned over the alarming flood situation in 20 states across the country, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh directed the Union Water Resources Ministry to chalk out an urgent action plan to tackle the situation, after a presentation on the flood scene was made in the Cabinet meeting today.
Union Parliamentary Affairs and Information and Broadcasting Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi said, “The floods seen in 20 states across the country are the worst in recent history. The estimated cost of the losses has run into thousands of crores of rupees and at least 1,500 lives have been lost.”
“The Prime Minister has ordered that funds be disbursed to the states according to their needs at the earliest. He has also asked the Water Resources Ministry to formulate an urgent action plan, based on the latest task force report, and come back to the Cabinet,” Dasmunsi added.
Out of the total corpus of Rs 21,333 crore under the Calamity Relief Fund (CRF) for the period 2005-10, a sum of Rs 4258.85 crore has been allocated for 2007-08, Dasmunsi said after a Cabinet meeting which discussed the issue elaborately.
The Government has already provided Rs 1,292 crore for 19 affected states, he said.
On the system of disbursal of funds under the CRF, the minister said, out of the total funds of Rs 4258.55 crore, 75 per cent of the funds amounting to Rs 3194.14 crore is provided by the Centre. The rest of the fund amounting to Rs 1,064 crore would be the states’ share.
As much as Rs 1,598 crore of the CRF had to be released by June and the second installment of Rs 1,596 crore is due to be released in September this year, the minister said.