The flood situation in Assam continued to remain grim on Wednesday with the Brahmaputra and several of its tributaries inundating more areas. With three more deaths, the death toll has gone up to 13. Chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who is himself flying to his home constituency – the worst-affected Majuli island – on Thursday, has asked all MLAs to go to their respective constituencies to help in rescue and relief operations.
The budget session of the Assam Assembly was temporarily suspended for two days in view of the flood situation, while union home minister Rajnath Singh spoke to chief minister Sonowal over the telephone, took stock of the situation and assured of all help from the Centre. “The home minister has assured all kinds of help required,” Sonowal said.
“The flood situation is critical. More areas have been submerged. The Brahmaputra water-level is rising every passing hour. Three more persons have died on Wednesday. I have asked all the MLAs to rush to their respective constituencies and help the civil administration in rescue and relief operations,” Sonowal told the media in the state assembly premises.
Chief minister Sonowal, who announced ex gratia of Rs 4 lakh to the next of kin of those who have lost their lives in he floods, also said there was no shortage of funds and relief materials. The opposition Congress party however demanded immediate release of Rs 1000 crore for Assam. “The Centre had last year released Rs 1000 crore each for Tamil Nadu and J&K, but Assam did not get anything,” Debabrata Saikia, Leader of the CLP said.
While over 1.30 lakh people have been provided temporary shelter in 472 relief camps in 21 districts, over 17 lakh people have been directly affected as the floods have inundated over 3,000 villages in 76 revenue circles. The Brahmaputra, which was flowing above the danger level in Jorhat, Tezpur, Guwahati, Goalpara and Dhubri, has caused major breaches in Majuli, Morigaon, Goalpara, Biswanath and Barpeta districts.
The Army has been pressed into service in at least three districts – Jorhat, Bongaigaon and Golaghat – in addition to NDRF and SDRF personnel to rescue marooned people. Over 15,000 people have been rescued by the Army, NDRF and SDRF on Wednesday and shifted to safer locations.
The Brahmaputra, which has submerged about 90 per cent of the southern part of Kaziranga National Park (KNP), on Wednesday overtopped National Highway 715 at seven places in Golaghat district. “There is a risk of road communication between upper and lower Assam getting snapped in the water level does not recede by Thursday morning,” Golaghat deputy commissioner Varnali Deka said. (ends)