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Assam flood: Over 50 lakh hit; Union minister reviews situation
Assam

Assam flood: Over 50 lakh hit; Union minister reviews situation

Agency News

Guwahati, Jul 16: The flood situation in Assam has deteriorated further with the
death toll reaching 17 and the number of affected population crossing 50 lakh figure
in the last 24 hours, with 30 out of total 33 districts hit by floods.

Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat toured some of the affected
areas to take stock of the situation, under instructions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and also reviewed the rescue and relief operations.

As per Assam State Disaster Management Authority flood report, 52.59 lakh in 30
districts of the state, falling under 120 revenue circles, have been affected by this
second wave of flood this year.The death toll has now reached 17, with several casualties reported in the last 24 hours.Several major rivers continued to flow above the danger level, including the Brahmaputra at five places.

Over 1.47 lakh people are taking shelter in 290 relief camps across the state, while 405 additional relief distribution centres have also been opened.Various agencies,including the Army, NDRF and SDRF, have been pressed into rescue and relief operations.In Kaziranga National Park, where 90 per cent of the area was flooded yesterday,
the waters were on a receding trend today.

Thirty animals have been reported dead in the Park, including nine after being
hit by vehicles and 11 due to drowning.The flood situation in Pabitora Wildlife Sanctuary also continued to be grim with over 90 per cent area inundated.The Central government has released Rs 251.55 crore as grants-in-aid to carry out relief operations.

Meanwhile, Union minister Shekhawat made an aerial survey of Dibrugarh and
Lakhimpur districts and visited relief camps in Majuli today and also closeted in a
meeting with state CM, his ministers, state government officials, Central Water
Commission and Brahmaputra Board officials.

Addressing a press conference later, Shekhawat expressed satisfaction at the
relief and rescue operations and assured all help from the Centre to the state.
Shekhawat said necessary funds will be made available after the extent of
damage is assessed once the waters recede. He shall be submitting his report
to the prime minister tomorrow.

Besides handling the immediate situation, the Union minister also discussed long-term measures to tackle the flood and erosion problems of the state. He said, "A hydrological survey could help in a long-term solution. Whether dredging or some other option could be worked out for a long-term solution has to be found out."

Shekhawat praised the initiative of constructing raised platforms for both humans
and animals by the state government, and said more such fruitful initiatives are
needed.

He also mentioned a possible North East Water Management Authority, as proposed by a high-level committee, for a comprehensive solution for Assam flood and erosion.Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who was also present, said the state government had adequate funds at the moment to handle the situation. (UNI)