GUWAHATI, Aug 29 - Though the final assessment of damage caused by floods this year in Assam is yet to be ascertained, a high level team of Central government officials visited the worst affected areas of the State for an on the spot assessment. However, it is still not known how much money will be provided by the Centre to help the State to repair the damage caused by floods.
Official sources told The Assam Tribune that the State government made a preliminary assessment of the damage caused by floods and submitted a memorandum to the Centre seeking Rs 2,000 crore to repair the damage caused to infrastructure, including roads and bridges, government buildings, etc. Sources said the process of preparing the final assessment of the damage is on and all the government departments have been asked to complete the task as soon as possible so that the State can approach the Centre seeking adequate funds. From the past experience, it is always seen that the actual assessment of the damage is always much higher than the preliminary assessment.
Sources said the six-member team of Central government officials was divided into three groups and accompanied by officers of the State government, they visited the worst affected areas, including Majuli, Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Kaziranga, Nagaon, Golaghat, Bongaigaon, Barpeta and Goalpara. The team that has completed the survey will submit its report to the Centre and the decision on providing additional funds to the State will be taken on the basis of the report.
Sources revealed that this year�s State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) for Assam was fixed at Rs 858 crore, which was substantially higher than last year.
However, of the amount, more than Rs 200 crore was spent on construction of the COVID-19 quarantine centres in different districts of the State. According to government reports, around Rs 120 crore was spent on providing relief to the flood-hit people. Though the SDRF funds are not yet fully spent, the balance amount will not be adequate to repair the damage caused by floods.
Sources said the SDRF for every state is finalised at the beginning of financial year and if the fund is exhausted, the states can approach the Centre seeking additional funds from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF), which is managed by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). For receiving funds from the NDRF, the states have to send detailed deports to the Centre and central teams visit the states for an on the spot survey before additional funds are released. However, sometimes the Centre releases additional funds even without any central team visiting the states concerned to deal with emergency situations.