Union minister reviews Assam flood situation

CM urges Centre for steps to set up North East Water Management Authority   

GUWAHATI:Union water resources (Jal Shakti) minister, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, visited Assam on Tuesday for a first hand assessment of the flood situation in the state.

The Union minister’s visit comes in the wake of a telephonic discussion on the flood situation Prime Minister Narendra Modi had with chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Monday. 

The  minister reviewed the situation at a meeting in the office of the regional executive director, Airports Authority of India, LGBI airport here, in the presence of Sonowal and ministers and officials of the Assam government.

Sonowal requested the Union minister to take early steps for constitution of North East Water Management Authority recommended by high-level committee headed by vice chairman of Niti Aayog.

He also requested to include river erosion in the list of admissible natural calamities under State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF).

It may be mentioned that the Centre had released Rs 251.55 crore for Assam as the first installment under SDRF on Monday.  

The government of Assam will submit an interim memorandum shortly on the damaged caused, an official statement issued here said.

The Union minister assured that a central team will visit the state soon to assess and verify the report.

“We are taking all possible steps to provide assistance to the flood-affected people as per the norms. I have been constantly reviewing the situation and I request all ministers, MPs, MLAs and representatives of local bodies to keep a close watch on the situation and render necessary assistance,” the chief minister said.

He further said that all deputy commissioners have been directed to provide sufficient relief material and make arrangements for drinking water, baby food, medical teams and medicine.

An amount of 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.

A presentation was made by the state government officials on the flood situation. The state government informed the Union minister on the current status.

As on today, 4,620 villages in 124 revenue circles across 32 districts of Assam have been affected in the flood. Seventeen persons have lost their lives due to flood in various districts this season while and two died in landslides.

This year, about 44.96 lakh people have been affected in the floods. As many as 226 relief camps are operational with 1, 01,085 inmates while 562 relief distribution centres are functioning in the state.

NDRF and SDRF teams have been pressed into service in the flood-affected areas for search and rescue operations. NDRF teams with rescue boats have been placed in 16 locations while SDRF has been deployed in 40 locations of the state.  

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