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Rehabilitation of flood-hit challenge for Govt

By R Dutta Choudhury

GUWAHATI, Aug 18 - Though the floods have subsided, rehabilitating the people affected by flood and erosion as well as repair of the damaged roads and bridges and embankments will be a major challenge before the government.

However, official sources said that the process of rehabilitation of the affected people would start soon and there should not be any shortage of funds for the purpose.

Talking to The Assam Tribune, highly placed official sources said that there are clear-cur guidelines for rehabilitation of the flood and erosion affected people in the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) guidelines and the process would be carried out as per the same.

Giving details of the process, sources said officers from the Deputy Commissioners� offices would start field verification to ascertain the extent of the damages caused by floods and submit detailed reports. Rehabilitation grant would be provided to the affected people on the basis of the reports as per the guidelines of the SDRF.

Sources said that earlier, erosion was not included in the list of natural disasters, but following persistent demands from the State Government, the Centre has included erosion and lightning as State-specific disasters. Now, the erosion-affected people will also get the rehabilitation grant.

As per the guidelines of the SDRF, the families, whose houses were completely damaged in flood and erosion, would get a rehabilitation grant of Rs 95,100 in the plain areas and Rs 1,01,900 in the hill areas of the State. The families whose houses were partially damaged will get a rehabilitation grant of Rs 52,000. However, at least 15 percent of a house should be damaged to make a family eligible for the grant.

Similarly, grants will be given to the farmers whose paddy fields have been damaged or those who have lost their cattle.

This year, the next of kin of those who lost their lives in floods were given ex gratia grant of Rs 4 lakh each. Sources said that the next of kin of most of the unfortunate ones who have lost their lives have already received the grant and only a few are yet to receive it due to �some technical problems.�

The SDRF guidelines also specify the amount to be paid to those who were injured in natural disasters. Those who suffered 60 percent disability would get a grant of Rs 2 lakh, while the persons suffering from 40 to 60 percent disability would be given a grant of Rs 59,100. There are different yardsticks for hospitalisation for different periods.

However, repair of the damages will take some time. Sources said that after receiving the reports from various departments and the Deputy Commissioners, the State-level committee formed under the guidelines of the SDRF would evaluate the same and release funds accordingly.

Sources said that there would be no shortage of funds for the rehabilitation of the affected people, but the State Government might have to approach the Centre for additional funds for the repair of the damage caused to the roads and bridges, embankments and other public properties.

This year, the SDRF for the State has been fixed at Rs 483 crore. The Centre has released the first instalment and the second instalment is likely to be released soon. Though the exact assessment of the money spent so far in providing relief and providing ex gratia relief, including management of the relief camps, etc, has not yet been made, sources said that around Rs 100 crore has been utilised.

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Rehabilitation of flood-hit challenge for Govt

GUWAHATI, Aug 18 - Though the floods have subsided, rehabilitating the people affected by flood and erosion as well as repair of the damaged roads and bridges and embankments will be a major challenge before the government.

However, official sources said that the process of rehabilitation of the affected people would start soon and there should not be any shortage of funds for the purpose.

Talking to The Assam Tribune, highly placed official sources said that there are clear-cur guidelines for rehabilitation of the flood and erosion affected people in the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) guidelines and the process would be carried out as per the same.

Giving details of the process, sources said officers from the Deputy Commissioners� offices would start field verification to ascertain the extent of the damages caused by floods and submit detailed reports. Rehabilitation grant would be provided to the affected people on the basis of the reports as per the guidelines of the SDRF.

Sources said that earlier, erosion was not included in the list of natural disasters, but following persistent demands from the State Government, the Centre has included erosion and lightning as State-specific disasters. Now, the erosion-affected people will also get the rehabilitation grant.

As per the guidelines of the SDRF, the families, whose houses were completely damaged in flood and erosion, would get a rehabilitation grant of Rs 95,100 in the plain areas and Rs 1,01,900 in the hill areas of the State. The families whose houses were partially damaged will get a rehabilitation grant of Rs 52,000. However, at least 15 percent of a house should be damaged to make a family eligible for the grant.

Similarly, grants will be given to the farmers whose paddy fields have been damaged or those who have lost their cattle.

This year, the next of kin of those who lost their lives in floods were given ex gratia grant of Rs 4 lakh each. Sources said that the next of kin of most of the unfortunate ones who have lost their lives have already received the grant and only a few are yet to receive it due to �some technical problems.�

The SDRF guidelines also specify the amount to be paid to those who were injured in natural disasters. Those who suffered 60 percent disability would get a grant of Rs 2 lakh, while the persons suffering from 40 to 60 percent disability would be given a grant of Rs 59,100. There are different yardsticks for hospitalisation for different periods.

However, repair of the damages will take some time. Sources said that after receiving the reports from various departments and the Deputy Commissioners, the State-level committee formed under the guidelines of the SDRF would evaluate the same and release funds accordingly.

Sources said that there would be no shortage of funds for the rehabilitation of the affected people, but the State Government might have to approach the Centre for additional funds for the repair of the damage caused to the roads and bridges, embankments and other public properties.

This year, the SDRF for the State has been fixed at Rs 483 crore. The Centre has released the first instalment and the second instalment is likely to be released soon. Though the exact assessment of the money spent so far in providing relief and providing ex gratia relief, including management of the relief camps, etc, has not yet been made, sources said that around Rs 100 crore has been utilised.

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