Politics over flood in Rajasthan

Jaipur, Aug 3: Floods in Rajasthan have receded but politics over it continue unabated.

Congress vice-president Rahul gandhi would be visiting the flood-ravaged Jalore on Aug 4. He would also be travelling to Dhanera in Gujarat to see the intensity of damage.

Although rains have somewhat receded and relief and rescue operations are on in the flood-hit districts of Jalore, Sirohi and Pali, the deluge of political leaders and their relief announcements have continued unabated.

At least 17 people are dead in the flood-hit areas and 12000 people have been evacuated from their home to safe places by the NDRF and the Army. As thousands continue to stay put in the make-shift shelters and are being given relief, they regret losing their cattle and many valuables in the gushing waters.

To comfort them first arrived Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, who conducted an aerial survey of the districts on Saturday. She announced a relief of Rs 3,800 for relief and the revenue department has been asked to prepare a special Girdawari report to assess the crop loss. The government has also decided to convert short-term loans of 2.95 lakh farmers in the affected districts to medium-term ones. The government would also bear an additional expense of Rs 196.05 crore towards this.

Meanwhile, the Opposition Congress is using the flood as an excuse for criticising the government. Pilot and even former Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot have said that PM Narendra Modi who rushed to flood-affected Gujarat, should have visited Rajasthan.

Pilot said : “The PM visited a flood affected village in Gujarat, which is just 40 kms away from Jalore but did not come here. If he had, the relief and rehabilitation work should have gained momentum.”

He advised the BJP government to ensure proper relief and rehabilitation of the flood affected people of more than 500 villages in Jalore, Sirohi, Barmer and Pali districts of the state.

Gehlot has tweeted : “It would have been good,if PM had at least done an aerial survey of flood affected areas in Rajasthan and announced a relief package like Gujarat.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had rushed to Gujarat and had announced a relief package of Rs 500 crore for the flood-affected districts. He also declared ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased, and Rs 50,000 to those seriously injured in the floods.
Modi had conducted an aerial survey of flood-ravaged areas of north Gujarat where the authorities have shifted more than 36,000 people to safety and rescued more than 1,600 with the help of Indian Army, Indian Air Force and the NDRF personnel since Monday.

Pilot has also shot off a letter to the Prime Minister seeking Rs 500 crore similar package as that of neighbouring Gujarat, also mentioning that the state government in Rajasthan has been unable to provide proper relief to the flood affected till now.

The state government in turn has forwarded a proposal of Rs 1550 crore to the Centre for flood relief.

Meanwhile Prime Minister has also announced Rs 2,000-crore package for the recurring flood problem in four north-eastern states of Assam, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh. He also announced that a high-level committee will be constituted to study the problem of flooding in the region and for this, an amount of Rs 100 crore was earmarked.

Meanwhile Rahul is visiting the flood-affected areas in Lakhimpur in Assam today .

There is no word yet on relief from the Centre or the Prime Minister as yet.

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