Rain, Floods, Landslides and the loss it wreaks


This year around 600 people have died across India due to the fury of floods and landslides. According to the Union government many state governments are yet to fully utilise funds kept for relief and rehabilitation. Union government denied charges of bias in offering financial assistance. The opposition parties criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for giving Rs. 500 crore for his home state Gujarat where heavy rain and rising water disrupted the life and left nearly 100 people dead. In reply to this the Union government said that the money earlier given to different states has not been utilised by the state governments. Others states which has been badly hit by floods this year apart from Gujarat are Rajasthan, Odisha and Assam. The state leaders of the respective states have asked for more funds but the central government said many are yet to use the money they already have with them.   According to sources Assam, for example has more than 500 crore which has not been utilised and are asking for Rs.3000 crore more as temporary relief.  Same way, Odisha is having Rs. 824 crore in their fund which has not been utilised.   Similarly many states have their quota of unutilised money. An inter-ministerial group has been formed and they are now visiting Assam to study the situation and if the group finds the requirement for more money it will be provided as per a government official wishing not to be identified.

Studies from Guwahati say that a 1300 km, six lane highways will improve connectivity in the region. The government there has already done the preliminary survey and detailed report will be given to the Union transport ministry. This they feel is necessary because every year the River Brahmaputra overflows and displaces tens of thousands of people every year. The 1300 km highway which is going to be built along the Brahmaputra River in Assam will limit the damage from annual floods, according to the government, even though environmentalists have difference of opinion.  The Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal feels that the highway will help taming the annual floods and improves connectivity in the region in a big way.  Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said that the project will be fast-tracked.