NEW DELHI: After the Opposition launched scathing attack on the Centre for allegedly crippling the financial support to the state for flood management, the government assured to find a permanent solution to incidents of flooding in various parts of the country.
Initiating the “Calling Attention” discussion in the Lok Sabha on Thursday, the Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi claimed that “the NDA government is behaving like Kumbhkaran (brother of Ravan of Ramayana fame)” at a time when hundreds of people have lost their lives in various parts of the country. Speaking in Hindi, Gogoi initially used “Hatya (murdered)” for flood related deaths, but the Speaker Sumitra Mahajan corrected him, saying it was incorrect word.
“States were getting 75 per cent funds from the Centre for flood management, but the NITI Aayog diluted the scheme by lowering the Central contribution to just 50 per cent. In the case of special category status states, including North-east and hilly states, the Central contribution to flood management programmes has been lowered from 90 per cent to 80 per cent. Ironically, the NITI Aayog ensured that the change in funding pattern was enforced on even ongoing projects for flood management,” added Gogoi.
The Congress leader argued that the states have been left with crippled finances in the name of the “rationalisation of the Centrally sponsored schemes”, which has further aggravated the flood situation in various parts of the country and more particularly in the Northeast.
The Trinamool Congress MP Saugata Roy claimed that the Centre is resorting to “political discrimination” in fund allocation by depriving the non-BJP ruled states of the necessary financial support to take measures to control floods.
Replying to the discussion in the House, Union Minister of state for home affairs Kiran Rijiju stated that as many as 962 people have lost their lives so far due floods in various parts of the country, besides 206 being injured and 26 missing.
Refuting the assertion that the Centre is discriminating and not proactively responding to the flood situations, Rijiju said that the Centre is reaching out to the states, besides working on the rescue and rehabilitation measures of the flood affected regions.” He added that Rs 100 crores has been earmarked for measures which can give permanent solutions to the incidents of floods in the North-east.