GUWAHATI, Aug 25 - An inter-ministerial team from the Centre will arrive in the State within a day or two to assess the situation arising out of the floods, even as the Union government today announced Rs 207 crore to Dispur under the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF).
Speaking to reporters at the Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport here after visiting the flood-affected areas, DoNER Minister Dr Jitendra Singh said the inter-ministerial team would comprise officials and experts from various ministries, besides health and water resources.
Earlier in the day, Singh conducted an aerial survey of the flood-affected districts of Kokrajhar, Bongaigaon, Dhubri and Goalpara and visited the relief camps.
He said the team would assess the damage, take stock of rescue and relief, look into rehabilitation aspects and also decide on the future course of action, including ways to prevent post-flood epidemics and anti-flood measures.
�We are immediately releasing Rs 207 crore to the State under SDRF. This will be the second installment of SDRF for the State this fiscal. The second installment was scheduled to be released in December, but we are giving the money four months ahead of schedule to help the State government cope with the situation,� the DoNER Minister said.
The first installment of Rs 207 crore had been released by the Centre in May this year, he added.
Singh said more money, if required, would be released once the inter-ministerial team completed its assessment. �We have asked the Assam government to prepare a memorandum containing details regarding the damage caused by the floods and how much money will be required for relief and rehabilitation. We will respond immediately. We will not be lacking in extending assistance to Assam. The Central government will provide full support to the people of Assam,� he said.
He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is personally monitoring the flood situation in Assam and keeping track of rescue and relief operations.
Dr Singh said six NDRF teams were immediately put into action once the first reports about the floods came.
�One battalion of NDRF was also stationed at Guwahati. The NDRF teams responded immediately and this helped. Casualties were minimised to less than 20 or so. NDRF also rescued around 600-650 persons,� he said.
Asked about the recent charges made by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi regarding lack of Central funds for flood relief and rehabilitation efforts in Assam, the Union Minister said, �That is not true. It is not for the Chief Minister or me to decide if the funds are adequate or not. Let the people decide that. We met diverse sections of people in the affected areas and all of them have been unanimous in saying that Central assistance has been forthcoming.�
He added, �This is not the time to politicise such issues. This is the time to provide relief and rehabilitation to the affected people. Let the Chief Minister give the memorandum stating the extent of damage and what is required. We are releasing more than what is due.�