The Centre today approved additional financial assistance of Rs 1813.75 crore to Karnataka and Bihar for the damages caused by the rains and flood in the two states. The flood in Karnataka preceded the deluge of Bihar, West Bengal and Jharkhand.
Nearly 1,900 people lost their lives and another 46 were reported missing this monsoon season in rains and floods which affected more than 25 lakh in 22 states, Union Home Ministry officials said on Friday.
As many as 382 people died in Maharashtra, followed by 227 deaths in West Bengal in rains, floods and landslides that hit as many as 357 districts in the country.
Senior Congress leader and former Karnataka minister HK Patil had earlier on Friday accused the Modi government of delaying the release of funds for the flood-hit state and asked the Centre to act swiftly to protect lives of the affected people.
There has been a delay in sanctioning the funds as the ruling BJP government in the state had submitted a proposal apparently with some discrepancies, he said, adding the state has been asked to resend the correct proposal.
The approval came after Home Minister Amit Shah reviewed the ongoing rescue and relief work of all flood-affected states.
Keeping in view the severity of flood situation and the fund positions in the State Disaster Relief Fund account of Bihar and Karnataka, the home minister has approved an advance release of Rs 400 crore to Bihar and R 1,200 crore to Karnataka from the National Disaster Relief “on account basis”, a home ministry statement said.
Karnataka and Bihar have apprised of the paucity of funds in the SDRF account resulting in a delay in providing relief assistance to the affected people and requested for release of advance additional financial assistance from the NDRF. Bihar had also requested for advance release of the second instalment of centre’s share of the SDRF for the year 2019-20.
Shah further approved the advance release of 2nd instalment of centre’s share of the SDRF amounting to Rs 213.75 crore to Bihar for the year 2019-20.
The statement said the Centre supplements the efforts of the state governments by providing assistance for the relief of immediate nature through the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) and the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) as per the established procedure. The SDRF has been constituted for each state.
The central government contributes 75 per cent for general category states and 90 per cent for North-Eastern and hilly states of the SDRF allocation each year.
The first charge of relief expenditure is on the SDRF and in the cases of calamities of severe nature, it is supplemented from the NDRF as per the established procedure.