GUWAHATI, June 26 - Lack of a positive response from the Union Government to the plea of the State Government for the past about three years to modify the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) guidelines has prevented the State�s Water Resources Department (WRD) from undertaking more anti-erosion works.
Besides, the Model Code of Conduct imposed by the Election Commission of India (ECI) during the latest Lok Sabha elections also hampered timely release of funds by the Union as well as the State Government for flood management programme (FMP) schemes this year.
According to the information available with this newspaper, the State WRD submitted a proposal to the State Government for the latter�s approval for closure of 26 breaches, repair of 42 breach like damages and 409 restoration works in both the Brahmaputra and Barak Valleys during the 2018-�19 fiscal, under SDRF. The total estimated cost of these schemes amounted to Rs 1,497.9881 crore. However, the State Government approved an amount of only Rs 250 crore against the above amount.
The Model Code of Conduct of the Election Commission delayed execution of many of the 168 SDRF schemes sanctioned during the said fiscal and proposed to be undertaken with the approved amount of Rs 250 crore. While around 100 schemes were not affected, as they could be started prior to the imposition of the ECI�s Model Code of Conduct, around 60 schemes were delayed because of it. Nevertheless, most of the breach closing works were started prior to the imposition of the ECI�s Model Code of Conduct. �
�Information available with this newspaper state that failure of the Union Government to respond in a positive manner to the plea of the State Government in matters of modifying the SDRF guidelines has impeded anti-erosion projects like the Mikirgaon Kathoni area scheme in Morigaon district. Around 50 anti-erosion projects to be executed by the State WRD and the partially erosion-hit areas which needed immediate restoration, hence could not be initiated.
To implement 48 FMP schemes during the 11th Five Year Plan, the State had urged the Union Government to release an amount of Rs 88 crore, while to implement 41 FMP schemes during the 12th Five Year Plan, it urged the Union Government this year to release an amount of Rs 537 crore. But, not a single penny against the above amounts pleaded for, has been received by the State so far.
On top of all these, the State Government has also not released its share of Rs 65 crore and Rs 81 crore for the FMP schemes proposed respectively during the 11th Five Year Plan and the 12th Five Year Plan. It is alleged that because of the ECI�s Model Code of Conduct, the entire exercise to release these amounts was affected.