Assam floods: Centre releases Rs 250 crore aid as death toll touches 17https://indianexpress.com/article/india/assam-floods-himanta-biswa-sarma-modi-amit-shah-death-toll-kaziranga-5832629/

Assam floods: Centre releases Rs 250 crore aid as death toll touches 17

Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah for the prompt release of the funds even as the death toll mounted to 15 and floodwaters submerged 30 of the 33 districts. 

Nearly 3.5 lakh people have been reeling under the impact of the flood in Barpeta district, which is the worst-affected in the state, closely followed by Dhemaji where 1.2 lakh people have been hit. (AP)

With the flood situation in Assam deteriorating further, the government on Tuesday released Rs 251.55 crore as assistance from the central share of SDRF for 2019-20.

Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah for the prompt release of the funds even as the death toll mounted to 17 and floodwaters submerged 30 of the 33 districts, PTI reported.  “This shall immensely help in relief operations and mitigating suffering of people affected by Assam floods,” ANI quoted Sarma as saying.

According to Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), more than 45 lakh people have been affected in 4,620 villages of the state, with 1,01,085 people taking refuge in 226 relief camps, PTI reported. As many as 562 distribution centres have been set up for providing relief to the affected people.

As many as 1,556 villages across Dhemaji, Biswanath, Sonitpur, Darrang, Baksa, Barpeta, Nalbari, Chirang, Bongaigaon, Kokrajhar, Goalpara, Morigaon, Hojai, Nagaon, Golaghat, Majuli, Jorhat, Sivsagar, Dibrugarh, Tinsukia districts have been hit by the deluge.

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Barpeta is the worst hit with 7.35 lakh people affected, followed by Morigaon where 3.50 lakh people are hit. In Dhubri, around 3.38 lakh people have been affected, according to the ASDMA.

Indian passengers on an autorickshaw cross a flooded road in Burha in Assam. (AP)

Besides the NDRF, the Army has been deployed in Assam to aid the personnel in rescuing marooned people, PTI reported.

The part of Brahmaputra river that passes through the state capital is flowing above danger mark due to incessant rains in the region. The water level has increased and entered the Chakreshwar temple in Kalipur.

Due to the heavy rains, Section 144 was imposed around the vicinity of the Kaziranga National Park(KNP). The Assam Ministry of Forest and Environment said 90 per cent of the Kaziranga National Park in Golaghat and Nagaon districts was still submerged.

Moreover, 150 anti-poaching camps have been affected due to the floods and authorities are working round the clock to check poaching at the UNESCO world heritage site.

Women carrying drinking water walk through a flooded road in Burha in Assam. (AP)

Some of the animals have taken shelter in highlands within the park and many are migrating to the southern highlands of Karbi Anglong, crossing National Highway 37.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on Monday spoken to Chief Minister Sonowal to take stock of the flood situation, including the condition of the KNP, and assured all possible help and support.

Rahul Gandhi appeals to Congress workers

Meanwhile, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday appealed to party workers in flood-hit Assam, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Tripura and Mizoram to help in relief and rescue efforts.

Gandhi said that due to floods in these states, the situation has gone out of control. “Life has been badly affected. I appeal to Congress workers in all these states to help out in the relief and rescue work for the common people,” he said in a tweet.