GUWAHATI, Sept 8 - Governor PB Acharya will urge the Centre to declare the Assam floods as a national calamity and for additional funds for relief and rehabilitation, even as he urged political leaders including Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal to refrain from making a political issue of the tragedy.
Speaking to reporters at the Raj Bhavan here today, Acharya said that he will be leaving for New Delhi tomorrow and will try to meet the Prime Minister for seeking additional assistance for flood relief.
Asked if he will ask the Centre to declare the Assam floods as a national calamity, the Governor replied in the affirmative. Acharya said he will request Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit the flood-affected areas.
Acharya had made an aerial survey of five flood-affected districts on September 5.
Regarding the recent war of words between the State government and some BJP leaders including Sonowal regarding Central assistance for the Assam floods, the Governor said, �I request Sonowal and all others not to make a political issue of the floods. The situation is very bad and people are suffering. All should work together to extend a helping hand to the people who are suffering on account of the flood.�
He said the State Revenue and Disaster Management department has made a preliminary assessment of the damage from the floods and has made an estimate of Rs 580.99 crore as the expenditure on repair and restoration.
This include Rs 20 crore for restoration of roads and bridges, Rs 257.50 crore for repair of breaches in embankments, Rs 10 lakh for repair of drinking water source, Rs 22.05 crore for restoration of irrigation schemes, Rs 30.61 crore for construction of fully and severely damaged houses, Rs 8.71 crore for repair of partially damaged pucca and kutcha houses including huts, Rs 231.88 crore for crop damage, desilting, removal of debris on agricultural land and loss of land due to landslide and Rs 10.14 crore for replacement of animals killed during the floods.
Besides, an estimate of another Rs 42.96 crore has been made as requirement for rescue and relief including ex-gratia, additional cost of medicines and vaccines and clothing and utensils.
Acharya said he will try to impress upon both the Central and State governments to work out a long-term plan for tackling Assam�s perennial flood problem. He also mooted the idea of having a Governor�s Relief Fund on the lines of the Chief Minister�s Relief Fund.