Centre blocking funds, not serious on Assam flood problem: Gogoi

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Guwahati, Feb 18: Four months after the Assam government submitted a memorandum to the Centre, two inter-ministerial teams have visited the state this month to asses the damages caused by floods last year.

Addressing a press conference here, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said "We had submitted the memorandum in October last year. The inter-ministerial team visited the flood-hit areas only this month. Where will they get flood now? The Centre is not at all serious about the problem in Assam."

Assam CM Tarun Gogoi

In October 2014, Assam had sought Rs 9,370 crore assistance from the Centre to mitigate problems created by floods, rebuild damaged infrastructure, rehabilitate victims and strengthen embankments.

"When Jammu and Kashmir was hit by floods, the Centre gave instant relief. Assam was also very badly hit last time, but we have not got a single penny from the Centre yet," Gogoi said.

He said the first inter-ministerial team visited on February 3 and toured Goalpara, Barpeta and Kamrup districts, while another came to the state on February 13 and visited Dhemaji, Lakhimpur and other districts in Upper Assam.

"All flood management works that are being done now, we got the funds during UPA tenure," Gogoi claimed. He said the Centre was not releasing money under various departments despite giving utilisation certificates.

"We have submitted UCs for Rs 5,236.98 crore worth of schemes in 2013-14. Despite that, only Rs 2,591.62 crore have been release in 2014-15 against the total central fund allocation of Rs 7,161.57 crore," he added.

On October 1 last year, Gogoi had submitted his demand through a memorandum to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on his visit to flood-affected areas of Assam and Meghalaya. 

PTI

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