Guwahati: Following instructions from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union minister for jal shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat took stock of the flood situation in Assam and announced to release an amount of Rs 251.55 crore as Central aid.
The Union minister held a meeting with chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal along with other officials in the office of the regional executive director, Airports Authority of India at LGBI Airport in Guwahati on Tuesday.
A presentation was made by the state government on the flood situation of the state. As on Tuesday, a total of 4,620 villages in 124 revenue circles of 32 districts of Assam have been affected by the flood, the state government said.
This season, 17 people have lost their lives due to flood in the districts of Dhemaji (2), Golaghat (3), Barpeta (1), Jorhat (2), Dhubri (1), Goalpara (1), Morigaon (4), Nagaon (2) and Hailakandi (1). Two persons lost their lives due to landslide in Kamrup (M) and Dima Hasao districts. About 44.96 lakh people have been affected by the flood till date.
At present, 226 relief camps are operational with 1,01,085 inmates and 562 relief distribution centres functioning in the state.
National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) teams have been pressed into service in the flood-affected areas for search and rescue operations. Over 459 NDRF personnel with rescue boats have been stationed at 16 locations. Similarly, 338 personnel of SDRF had been deployed with rescue boats in 40 locations in the state.
The chief minister also requested the Union minister to take early steps for constitution of the North East Water Management Authority recommended by a high-level committee headed by the vice-chairman of NITI Aayog. He also requested the Union minister to include river erosion in the list of admissible natural calamities under SDRF.
The state government will submit an interim memorandum shortly on damages caused to the Centre. The Union minister also assured that a high-level Central team will visit the state soon to assess the damages caused.
Approximately, 90% of Kaziranga National Park have been affected by the current wave of flood. Animals have moved to the highlands and forest officials along with district and sub-divisional officials are on alert. Green fodder has also been distributed for the animals.
Earlier, during the day, Shekhawat did an aerial survey of the flood-affected areas of the districts of upper Assam, mainly Dibrugarh, Lakhimpur and Majuli by helicopter and discussed the situation with the officials of district administration and departments concerned. Shekhawat also visited the relief camps of Majuli and gave the inhabitants an assurance of full assistance from the Central government.
Meanwhile, state chief minister has also directed all deputy commissioners to provide sufficient relief materials and make necessary arrangements for drinking water, baby food, medical teams and medicines and cattle fodder.
Funds amounting to Rs 75.95 crore has been released so far to the districts as advance by the state government. Further, directions have been issued to provide ex gratia to the next of kin of the deceased persons within 48 hours. Besides, opening relief camps, gratuitous relief have also been distributed through relief distribution centres.