Focus on finding solution, not getting 'national problem' tag: Assam CM on floods

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Guwahati, Jul 7 (PTI) Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Sunday that he was focusing on finding a solution for the state's annual flood crisis rather than getting it recognised as a "national problem".

He said the Centre has already made funds available for combating the floods, and more money will be provided for developing infrastructure to tackle the crisis, such as embankments.

Speaking to reporters after visiting flood relief camps in Kamrup district, Sarma said, "If the flood is declared a national problem, how will it benefit us? Rather foreigners will stop coming here when they find it out." "Our focus is on finding a solution. We will benefit if some national solution is there," he added.

Sarma said damage to embankments has been much less this time compared to previous years.

"There has not been much flooding near embankments this time, the problem is on the riverside. In 2004, 300-400 embankments had breached, this time it is about two-three," he claimed.

He said work on different embankments is already in progress and the Centre will be providing more funds to undertake such projects, as necessary.

"The Centre has given Rs 13,000 crore to us this year in advance. We have not spent much of the money so far," Sarma said, maintaining the state government has adequate funds.

On his interaction with the inmates in the camps, the CM said they had informed him of getting adequate relief materials.

He said the district commissioner has been asked to draw up a list of people whose houses have been damaged so that they can be compensated.

Mega medical camps will be organised once the water recedes to ensure no outbreak of diseases, he said.

Sarma visited three relief camps that are being operated at Amrit Chandra Thakuria Commerce College in Palashbari, LP School in Nahira and Nahira Guimara Regional High School.

He took stock of the essential supplies being provided to those who had taken shelter in these camps and directed the administration to ensure the availability of medical facilities, drinking water and other necessary materials. PTI SSG SSG SOM