M’laya asked to submit memorandum

Rajnath assures maximum assistance lAssam gets Rs 286 cr

Home Minister Rajnath Singh during a review meeting in Tura on Wednesday.

 

Guwahati/TURA: Announcing Rs 286 crore immediate Central assistance to flood-affected Assam, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday asked the Meghalaya government to submit a memorandum for rebuilding exercise.

“I have told the Chief Minister (Mukul Sangma) to submit a memorandum to the Centre, after which an inter-ministerial team will visit to assess the damages. I have assured to provide maximum assistance to the Meghalaya government,” Singh told reporters after making an aerial survey of flood-hit areas of Assam and Garo Hills.

He also asked the Meghalaya government to utilise the state disaster response fund available with the State. “The state government has Rs 123 crore, I have asked Sangma to spend that fund. The next installment will be released immediately, we have written to the Finance Ministry, which is ready for sanction,” he added.

The Home Minister, who was accompanied by Minister of State In-charge Sports and Youth Affairs, Sarbananda Sonowal besides Joint Secretary of Ministry of Home Affairs (North East), Shambu Singh, assured that both Assam and Meghalaya will get financial assistance from the Centre to undertake rebuilding exercise.

He said Union ministers of state Kiren Rijiju and Sarbananda Sonowal had already made visits to flood-hit Assam, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh last week at his instructions and reported back with all details.

He informed that as per the latest figures available, the death toll due to the recent flood in Assam was 40, in Meghalaya 55 while 66 died in Arunachal Pradesh.

For Assam, total of Rs 670 crore will be provided by the Centre in terms of assistance, of which Rs 286 crore has been sanctioned for now while the rest amount has already been released.

During the review meeting, Sangma sought assistance from the Centre to raise a dedicated battalion of State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) in Meghalaya. He also urged the Home Minister to take up the issue of connectivity in terms of telecommunication and mobile with his Bangladesh counterpart.

Other issues raised during the meeting included the need to improve communication and connectivity in the state during times of crisis. Sangma urged the visiting Home Minister to ensure that the matter was taken up in a serious manner.

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister has urged all the line departments to come up with a detailed report of the disaster to be submitted to the Central Government. He assured that in the meantime funds available with the state would be released to all the line departments as per their requirements. (With inputs from Our Guwahati and Tura correspondents)