Rijiju assures help, State seeks Rs 2000 cr

Union Minister makes aerial survey of flood-hit Garo Hills lToll crosses half century

Health department staff loads medicine packets in an Indian Air Force helicopter at Upper Shillong helipad to be taken for the flood-affected inmates in various camps in Garo Hills. In two sorties, more than 3 tonnes of medicines were airlifted on Saturday.

TURA: Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju on Saturday assured Central assistance to flood-devastated Meghalaya even as the state government has sought Rs 2000 crore from the Centre to tide over the situation.

Rijiju made an aerial survey of flood hit areas of Garo Hills, along with NDRF Director General D P Singh on Saturday and later the Union Minister met the Chief Minister Mukul Sangma.

Acknowledging the extensive damage in Garo Hills, the Union Minister said, “I will hold a meeting with Home Minister Rajnath Singh tomorrow and brief him about the situation in Meghalaya and Assam”.

The flood and landslides have so far claimed 51 lives in the state.

“We will ensure that nodal ministry will look into the issue. Once the assessment is complete, the concerned ministry officials will review the magnitude of the situation and start its rebuilding exercise” Rijiju added.

Promising that the Central government will allot fund to both Meghalaya and Assam to recoup the damages, Rijiju, also minister for disaster management, said: “The prime minister (Narendra Modi) will make an announcement for a special relief package to tide over the post-flood situation once he returns from his US visit.” Rijiju also held a review meeting in Tura with Chief Minister Mukul Sangma and former Lok Sabha Speaker Purno A. Sangma on the flood situation.

The Commissioner of Divisions, Garo Hills, Peter W Ingty briefed Rijiju about the devastations in the meeting.

Ingty informed Rijiju that damage to the tune of Rs 2000 crore has been assessed so far, which included Garo Hills and parts of Khasi Hills.

The Chief Minister also submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister through Rijiju and sought the involvement of the army in the restoration of the main connecting bridges in Mendipathar in North Garo Hills and Krishnai bridge in Assam’s Goalpara district.

Later, the Chief Minister undertook an aerial survey of the worst hit areas of West Garo Hills. At Tikrikilla, he met inmates of a relief camp and assured them support from the government.

He urged the flood hit victims to cooperate with the government machineries as they carry out their rehabilitation works.

The Chief Minister was accompanied by Tikrikilla legislator Michael T Sangma and Raksamgre legislator Limison Sangma. He held a brief review meeting at Tikrikilla in presence of Meghalaya Assembly Speaker AT Mondol.

Mondol briefed the Chief Minister about the quantum of damage in the worst hit areas of Chibinang to Tikrikilla.

Interacting with officials, the Chief Minister asked them to ensure that there is no outbreak of any disease. He laid trust on providing hygienic atmosphere for the camp inmates specifically in terms of providing safe drinking water. The Chief Minister also asked the inmates to immediate consult doctors for health related problems.