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Rain-ravaged Meghalaya seeks Rs 300 cr preliminary aid from Centre

The Chief Minister also held a review meeting at the Deputy Commissioner’s Office in Khliehriat with administration officials and took stock of the situation in the district. 

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Shillong: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Sunday said he has written to Union Home Minister Amit Shah seeking a preliminary aid of Rs. 300 crore to tide over the trail of destruction, both in terms of loss of human lives and extensive damage to infrastructure, especially roads, highways, bridges and houses caused by heavy rainfall.

“I have written to Union Home Minister Amit Shah in which we have given a preliminary assessment of the damages in terms of agriculture as well as infrastructure damages. We have asked for Rs. 300 crore from the government of India,” he said after inspecting the NH-6 which had caved in due to incessant rains in the East Jaintia Hills district.  

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The Chief Minister also held a review meeting at the Deputy Commissioner’s Office in Khliehriat with administration officials and took stock of the situation in the district. 

Sangma said the Union Home Minister has assured him that he will be sending a central team to aassess the cost of the damages in the State. 

 The NH-6 connects Southern Assam’s Barak Valley, Mizoram, Tripura and parts of Manipur.

The Chief Minister said efforts are on to restore the road link in the next 48–72 hours. However, the weather conditions would be the prime determination.. 

Over 1000 trucks loaded with essential commodities and medicines are stranded along NH-6 on both sides of the highway, from Assam and Meghalaya. 

Sangma also informed that the state government was in touch with the Air Force to airlift food items to areas that are completely cut-off due to landslides and flash floods.

He said due to continuous rainfall, the restoration work has been hampered but the administration is working to ensure the road communication is restored. 

An alternative route has been identified via Star Cement Premises in Lum Shnong, which has been open only for light motor vehicles. 

The Chief Minister also assured all assistance from the government and the administration to ensure all the affected people get help and relief materials.

Stating that the rainfall has been unprecedented in the last few weeks, Sangma said in some areas it has broken records of the past 40 years. 

“We have seen damage to physical infrastructure. The financial implications to restore the physical infrastructure will be very high…there is also a huge impact on the livelihood of the people,” he said, adding that “the government will make more assessments in an accurate manner and more importantly, steps should be taken immediately to ensure that we minimize the inconvenience.” 

Meanwhile, with the rain subsiding for the second consecutive day on Sunday, relief and repair works have been going on in full swing across the state. 

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