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Centre blames states for sitting on relief funds, as 600 die in floods

New Delhi: The centre has blamed states for sitting on relief funds, approximately 600 people have died in floods and landslides across the country this year. Kiren Rijiju, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs of India, in Rajya Sabha, claimed response to floods in Assam and Gujarat has been the “quickest ever possible”.

Gujarat, Rajasthan, Assam and Odisha are among worse hit states by floods this year.
Leaders of these states have sought for more funds, but central government sources said many are yet to use the money they already have, according to Hindustan Times.

“Assam, for instance, has over Rs 500 crore which has not been used, even as it wants around Rs 3,000 crore as interim relief. Similarly, Odisha has Rs 824 crore. Many other states have enough money lying with them. An inter-ministerial group is now visiting Assam to take stock of the situation. If it finds the requirement of more money, we will provide it,” said a government official, on anonymity.

“If you look at the data, you will realise every state has not completely used the amount provided under SDRF and NDRF, which as an additional amount,” Rijiju said, referring to the state and national disaster relief funds.

He further denied any bias by the Centre in providing rescue teams and relief funds. His comments come after several parties criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi to grant Rs 500 crore for flood-hit Gujarat.

“I can assure this House that the government is fully committed to ensuring that nobody suffers due to want of the action from the Government of India. We are fully committed. We reassure state governments that we will be there whenever you require us,” he said.