Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced Rs 500 crore for Gujarat for rescue work after an aerial survey of the flooded areas and Rs 2 lakh compensation to the kin of the 83 people who have died and Rs 50,000 to the injured.
The prime minister’s visit to his native state and the announcement of ex-gratia comes at a time when the Northeast part of India, especially Assam, was reeling under severe flood and post-disaster crisis.
The Assam state disaster management authority on Tuesday reported that as many as 77 people died in the current wave of floods in the state. More than 17 lakh people were hit while crop area of 2,08,932 hectors affected till Tuesday. More than a 100 animals died in the Kaziranga National Park alone. Interestingly, the Union government has not announced any relief package for the state even as a certain amount was announced for Manipur and landslide-torn Arunachal Pradesh.
Netizens on Tuesday slammed the Union government’s apathy for the region as it could only send a team led by Arunachal Pradesh MP and junior minister at the home ministry Kiren Rijiju while the prime minister himself did an aerial survey of his home state.
Slamming the Centre’s inaction, former Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi said the prime minister rushed to his Gujarat and announced interim relief and ex-gratia for the victims while no such similar treatment was rendered for the people of Assam. “PM @narendramodi rushed to #Gujarat and announced Rs 500 crore interim relief and ex-gratia of Rs 2 Lakh for flood victims and Rs 50,000 for injured…. #AssamFloods claimed 76 lives, @narendramodi never visited and his govt has not released adequate funds for Assam..,” he tweeted.
A Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report, tabled in the Parliament on July 21, had observed that there has been a 60 per cent shortfall in release of central funds to Assam for implementing flood management programmes.
In its report, the CAG noted that the Centre was to share Rs 2043.19 crore with Assam for implementing 141 projects in the state between 2007-08 and 2015-16. Of this, it released Rs 812.22 crore, a shortfall of Rs 1230.97 crore or 60 per cent.
Meanwhile, the Assam government has sought an interim assistance of Rs 2,939 crore from the central government to deal with destruction caused by floods as an inter-ministerial team arrived in the state on Tuesday to assess the damage.
Chief secretary VK Pipersenia said the government had submitted to the Centre its own assessment of the economic loss.
“The team will visit the flood-affected areas till July 28 and assess the overall damage,” he told the media.
The team will conduct an on-the-spot assessment of the situation and will visit Biswanath, Lakhimpur, Majuli, Barpeta, Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj districts.
The Central team is led by V Shashank Shekhar, joint secretary in the home ministry.