Rs.2,000 Cr Flood Package for NE

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The Prime Minister recently on 1st August, 2017 made an announcement, a package of Rs.2,000 crore for immediate flood relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction activities of the damaged infrastructure in the north-eastern region. This excludes Rs.250 crore announced for immediate flood relief operations in Assam, which comes in addition to a package of Rs.345 crore released in June this year. During the five-hour-long high-level meeting held in Guwahati, Modi reviewed the flood scenario and the scale of damage caused by floods and erosion in the north-eastern states, and vouched for creation of a corpus fund of Rs.100 crore for a study to be conducted by a high-power committee of experts which will suggest measures for permanent solution of the flood problem. The high-power committee will study the course of the Brahmaputra river along with its multi-state and multi-nation ramifications.

During the meeting, the Prime Minister reviewed the flood situation and relief measures in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Nagaland and had separate discussions with the respective chief ministers and senior officials. A memorandum from the Chief Minister of Mizoram was also received by the Prime Minister as the former could not make it to the meeting. Although the Prime Minister did not interact with the media persons, he, however, posted a series of tweets later in the evening. “A package of Rs.2000 crore for flood relief, rehabilitation, reconstruction measures for affected states of the Northeast was announced,” tweeted the Prime Minister. “The package will have a significant component devoted to infrastructure & improving water holding capacity of the Brahmaputra,” he further tweeted. “We are exploring all possible means to enable proper management of the water resources of the Northeast. This will help us immensely,” Modi said.

State Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma after coming out of the meeting said that the break-up of the Rs.2,000 crore package announced for the region will be detailed later. Later briefing media persons, State Water Resources Minister Keshav Mahanta said the Prime Minister during the meeting said the Centre “is always with Assam and we should concentrate on converting the problem to power.” The Prime Minister, he said, also vouched for a coordinated effort by different departments to achieve lasting solutions. Mahanta further said out of the Rs.2,000-crore relief package announced for the entire region, Rs.1,200 crore has been earmarked for infrastructure sector for Assam alone. The funds will be utilized for repair, maintenance and strengthening of roads, bridges and other damaged infrastructure. An ex gratia assistance of Rs.2 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased, and Rs.50,000 to each of those seriously injured due to the floods has been sanctioned under the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF). The review meeting was also attended by DoNER Minister Jitendra Singh.

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