The Madhya Pradesh government has sought a financial package of over Rs 11,800 crore from the Centre for relief and rehabilitation work in the flood-hit areas of the State, a minister said on Wednesday.
Three dozen districts have been affected by floods and heavy rains in the state. "Prima facie, the floods have damaged properties and crops worth Rs 11,861 crore. The Centre should immediately sanction a package of this amount to Madhya Pradesh, Minister for Public Relations PC Sharma said at a press conference. He accused the opposition BJP of playing politics over the flood issue. "Instead of politicising the issue, BJP leaders Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Rakesh Singh (state BJP President) should sit on a dharna to get the Centre sanction this fund to the State, so that relief could be provided to people and farmers at the earliest," Sharma said.
The Minister said, "Over 8,000 villages across 36 out of the 52 districts in the State were affected by excessive rains and floods. The rains and floods have damaged crops on 24 lakh hectares of land, affecting 22 lakh farmers. Damage caused to crops is estimated at around Rs 9,600 crore. Roads have suffered damage to the tune of Rs 1,566 crore." He added that a central team would visit the State this week to estimate the extent of devastation caused by the rains and floods. The minister claimed that the state administration has so far rescued about 50,000 people and shifted them to safer places in different parts of Madhya Pradesh.
The Minister further said that the Gujarat Government has to pay dues of about Rs. 10,000 crore to Madhya Pradesh under various heads like forest and revenue land that is part of the submergence area of the Sardar Sarovar Dam. Besides, the Centre has withheld disbursal of another Rs. 10,000 crore to the Congress-ruled state under various schemes and allocation by the Finance Commission, he said. "We will have to take legal recourse if the Centre does not release this amount," Sharma said in reply to a question. He said that a team of engineers from the Central Water Commission on Wednesday visited the Gandhi Sagar Dam located in Mandsaur and Neemuch districts. He said that the team praised the way MPs water resources department tackled the flow of excessive rainwater into the dam.
On Tuesday, BJP leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan had alleged that the flood in Neemuch and Mandsaur districts was a "man-made crisis". The former chief minister had said that the inundation of villages in these two districts could have been averted had sluice gates of the Gandhi Sagar Dam opened on time.