Guwahati: The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh, accompanied by a team of senior officials of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and senior officers of Central and State administration, today undertook an extensive aerial survey of the flood affected areas of Goalpara, Kokrajhar, Dhubri and Bongaigaon in Assam and also visited the relief camps at Abhayapuri and other places, after which he announced the advance release of second installment of the central share of State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF) amounting to approximately Rs.207 crore.
Dr. Jitendra Singh has also disclosed that an inter-ministerial team of the Government of India will be visiting the flood affected areas for a detailed assessment of the damages and based on the assessment, further relief amount will also be announced. At the same time, he reiterated the Central Government’s request to the State Government to immediately send the memorandum outlining the extent of damage so that the same could also be taken into cognizance while determining the further financial help to be provided to the State administration.
Addressing a meeting of State administration, attended among others by Assam Minister for Revenue, Shri Bhumidhar Barman, Lok Sabha MP from Guwahati, Shri Bijoya Chakravarty, State Chief Secretary, Shri Vinod Kumar Pipersenia, Principal Secretary, Revenue, Shri Pramod Kumar Tiwari, DC Guwahati, Shri Angamuthu and DC Bongaigaon, Dr. Biswajit Pegu, Dr Jitendra Singh assured that the Government of India and particularly the Prime Minister himself were personally keeping track of relief and rescue operations in the area and he, along with a team of officers, had been specially deputed to take an on-the-spot assessment and provide all necessary help to the State Government.
Later, briefing the media after his return to Guwahati, Dr. Jitendra Singh said that water level in Brahmaputra and other rivers, including Jia Bharali, Puthimari, Beki and Manas, began rising on August 17th and the NDRF immediately moved into action and started the rescue operations without wasting any time. The result of Government of India’s prompt response was that the casualty rate could be contained to the minimum, he added.
Dr. Jitendra Singh further explained that normally the State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF) for any State is shared between the Centre and State in the ratio of 75:25 but in case of Assam and some other States, it is being funded by the Central Government to an extent of 90%. However, he added, in case the State Government of Assam finds itself unable to cope with it, the Central Government is always readily available to lend its full support and directions to this effect have been issued.
Dr. Jitendra Singh appealed to the media to convey to people of Northeast, including Assam, the Government of India’s commitment to stand by them at every hour of adversity and to carry forward Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi’s mission to develop Northeast at par with other parts of the country.