GUWAHATI, July 3 – Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has assured that the problem of erosion would be covered by the schemes under the National Calamity Relief Fund and henceforth funds would be released under a specific head to deal with this particular problem of the State.
This was informed by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi at a press conference here today.
Dr Singh had made the above announcement at a Cabinet meeting, held in his presence on Monday, which according to Gogoi, would go a long way in mitigating the woes of those hit by erosion.
“Unlike flood and drought, there was no provision for tackling erosion. Now that the announcement has been made by the Prime Minister, effective steps could be taken,” Gogoi opined.
He also said that the Prime Minister has assured of taking up the matter of providing rehabilitation package for erosion-affected people with the Planning Commission.
Flood and landslides have claimed 95 lives so far and of the 2,809 villages affected by flood, 1,543 are still submerged.
According to official records, an area of 6.57 lakh hectares was affected in the State during the current wave of flood.
Further, of the 21 lakh people affected by flood, 12 lakh of them have been shifted to the relief camps. At present, there exist 551 camps housing 2.55 lakh victims. The flood also led to 42 breaches in the embankments in the Brahmaputra valley, while there occurred one breach in an embankment in the Barak Valley.
As far as roads are concerned, over 2,715 roads were affected with 1,741 breaches damaging 17.20 kilometres of these roads.
Figures also state that 11 semi-permanent timber (SPT) bridges, besides 12 culverts were washed away. Besides an RCC bridge, which collapsed under the impact of the floodwater, approaches to 307 SPT bridges and 266 RCC bridges were also damaged by the flood.
Moreover, railway tracks were extensively damaged by landslides in Lumding-Badarpur Railway Division, the documents handed over by the Chief Minister to the media persons said.