TURA, Sept 5 - Flood relief efforts in Garo Hills have been affected after suppliers of essential items refused to provide the materials in protest against the huge pending bills for relief items supplied last year which are yet to be cleared.
Revealing this, West Garo Hills DC Pravin Bakshi said, �Suppliers have refused to provide relief to flood affected villages as the bills for last year�s floods which ran into crores of rupees are yet to be cleared. They have expressed helplessness at the situation as they do not have the money to provide relief materials due to the bills that are pending clearance for almost a year�, he added.
According to sources, the utilisation certificates of flood relief is yet to be submitted to the concerned department for clearance, leading to a huge backlog of unpaid bills.
�The matter has been intimated to the Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma, who was livid at the delay in clearing bills by the department�, Bakshi said.
The matter is serious after the announcement of the plain belt of West Garo Hills as flood affected requiring provision of immediate relief for more than 48,000 displaced people. Most of these people have already been sheltered in 22 relief camps.
Last year, about a 100 people died in probably the worst flood to have ever hit the Garo Hills region and flood relief had been provided to the affected people for more than a month in some places.