TURA, Oct 1 � Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today visited the Garo Hills region to survey the damage caused by the September 22 floods. The visit comes at a time when the State is struggling with the massive damages caused to infrastructure and communication in the region. The floods have taken 55 lives and destroyed more than Rs 2000 crores worth of property, setting back developmental activities in the State.
�I have told the Meghalaya Chief Minister to submit a memorandum to the Centre, after which an inter-ministerial team will visit to assess the damages. I have assured to provide maximum assistance to Meghalaya Government�, said Singh.
He further asked the State Government to utilise the State disaster response funds available to start the redevelopment process. �The State Government has Rs 124 crore, I have asked the CM to spend that fund. The next instament will be released immediately, we have written to the Finance Ministry, which is ready for sanction�, added Singh.
The Home Minister affirmed that both Assam and Meghalaya will get full cooperation from the Centre to undertake rebuilding exercise. CM Mukul Sangma said, �From the extent of damages, he himself (Home Minister) has understood what kind of support the State Government will require in addressing the issues of the affected families�.
�It has been indicated to meet him in New Delhi on October 9 or 10 and submit the memorandum�, Sangma added.
�In the meantime, all line departments will be able to come up with a report, which will be submitted to the Government of India. For now, we will be releasing funds based on the actual requirements to all the line departments, the CM asserted.
Rajnath was accompanied by Minister of State (Sports) Sarbananda Sonowal, BJP Assam unit president Siddhartha Bhattacharjee, Assam Forest and Environment Minister Rockybul Hussain and Ministry of Home Affairs Joint Secretary (NE), Shambu Singh, among others.
The HM toured the flood-hit areas of Goalpara and Garo hills and landed at BSF helipad in Tura to hold a review meeting here in presence of CM, Deputy CM RC Laloo, Tura LS MP, PA Sangma and government representatives led by additional chief secretary P Srivastava.