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15th Finance Commission has included river erosion as a natural calamity: Sarbananda Sonowal


GUWAHATI: : Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal stated that the 15
th Finance Commission has included river erosion as a natural calamity and recommended for adequate compensation including rehabilitation under SDRF and NDRF.

Sonowal said that State government has taken special steps for solving flood and erosion problem. In a statement Sonowal said that State government has already sent a letter to the 15
th Finance Commission, requesting it for granting adequate compensatory measures towards relief and rehabilitation of erosion-hit people and consider erosion as a natural calamity.

In response to Assam Government’s letter, the 15
th Finance Commission accorded river erosion as a natural calamity and recommended for adequate compensation including rehabilitation under SDRF and NDRF.

Stating that Central Government has asked the State to submit a detailed report incorporating the details of those victims in the state who rendered landless and homeless due to erosion, Sonowal said that his government is preparing a detailed report for the same to be submitted to the Centre. He also exuded confidence that this would ultimately bring to an end to the long pending problem that the people of Assam have been going through owning to erosion.

Stating that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given never before importance to the flood and erosion of the state and affected a phenomenal increase of Rs. 772 crore under SDRF. Sonowal said that as a part of allocation, State government has already received Rs. 386 crore. Besides, flood and erosion, State government has released substantial amount to look after other calamities that the districts might go through.

He also said that necessary instructions have been given to the district administrations for providing quality food, medicines, baby food, fodder etc to the flood and erosion hit people living in the relief camps. He also said that his government would tolerate no recklessness in this regard.

Sonowal also said that the people of Assam at present are fighting against various calamities like COVID 19, flood, cyclone and African Swine Fever. However, the government is putting up its brave front against these problems with the help of the people of the state and different departments of the government. Having visited places that are going through flood, erosion etc. Sonowal said that strict instructions were given to water resources department to repair the breaches in the embankments so that they (embankments) can sustain their capacity as deterrent to flood.

Sonowal also said that though COVID 19 and the subsequent lockdown have hampered the progress of the repairing work, during relaxation, the government agency has undertaken the process of repair and protection work on a full throttle..

Sonowal visited Nalbari district and took stock of the erosion mitigation works being undertaken at the erosion hit areas near an embankment along the Brahmaputra at Doulasal-Larkuchi in Borkhetri constituency on Saturday. He directed the Water Resources Department to complete the mitigation and repairing work on a war footing.

Sonowal said that in view of the first wave of the flood, reports of breach along with erosion have to come to the government from various parts of the state. Directions have already been given to repair the breach or restore the erosion hit areas and protect them with the help the local MP, MLA and people. He also said that when the state is reeling under flood, construction of an all new embankment is not feasible, and therefore, his government has taken swift actions to repair any breach on the embankment caused by flood.

He also informed that though floating of tenders, giving work orders and beginning of construction work have begun well ahead, COVID 19 pandemic and its resultant lockdown have caused delay in completing the construction and repair work. Even then State government took the repair work on a few critical embankments, though the inclement weather has caused an impediment in the early completion of the work.

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