GUWAHATI, July 22 - Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Sekhawat today held a video conference with Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and took stock of the flood situation in the State.
Sonowal apprised Sekhawat of the scale of devastation caused by the flood along with erosion in the State and various steps taken by the State government to manage the situation.
To effectively manage the relief and rehabilitation works, the Union Jal Shakti Minister assured that an amount of Rs 346 crore would be released immediately from his Ministry to Assam Government as the first installment under Flood Management Programme (FMP).
He also urged Sonowal to send more proposals for sanctioning under Disaster Risk Management Fund which would enable the State Government to receive more funds from Central Government for flood and erosion.
Sonowal also appealed the Union Minister to allocate funds to the State government to strengthen 5000 km of embankments built since 1951 in the State, which would now be turned into road cum embankments. The Union Minister urged the Chief Minister to send a letter stating the same and his Ministry would incorporate those proposals in the next year�s plan.
In response to the request made by the Chief Minister to Central Government to take up the matter of floodwaters from Bhutan inundating a large area in lower Assam every year, Sekhawat assured that the Central Government would soon hold discussions with Bhutan Government in this regard so that permanent solutions can be found. The Union Minister also stressed on the need to adopt latest technologies in flood management and assured all help from his Ministry in finding lasting solutions to the problems of flood and erosion.