Even as several lakh people have been severely affected in the flood-hit districts of Assam and Meghalaya in the past one week, union minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju on Saturday made an aerial survey of the area and assured that there would be no dearth of central funds and support to tackle the situation.
“The situation is very serious. There has been extensive damage all over. I have seen with my own eyes thousands of damaged houses. Roads and bridges have been badly damaged too. I assure, there will be no dearth of central funds and support to tackle the situation,” Rijiju, who made an aerial survey of districts in lower Assam and western Meghalaya on Saturday, told reporters in Goalpara.
Rijiju also announced that while union home minister Rajnath Singh would visit Assam and Meghalaya on October 1 to take stock of the situation. “The centre will definitely make an announcement for tiding over the post-flood situation after the prime minister returns from his US visit,” Rijiju, who is also minister for disaster man agement, said.
Asking the two states to make an assessment of the damage caused by the floods at the earliest, Rijiju also said that the Centre would not hesitate to provide additional support as and when required. “Different central agencies like the NDRF and army have been already at work, rescuing and providing relief to the flood-affected people,” he said.
Rijiju said the Centre had already provided some immediate relief in the form of ex gratia to the next of kin of those who have died in the floods. Taking both state and central government announcements, the next of kin of every person who died in the floods would get Rs 3.5 lakh each.
The minister, accompanied by Guwahati MP and former union minister Bijoya Chakravarty flew over Goalpara, Dhubri and Kamrup districts in lower Assam as also North Garo Hills and South Garo Hills districts of Meghalaya, following which he landed at Goalpara town and took a briefing from the officials.
Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi has already sought Rs 1,000 from the Centre to immediately tide over the situation caused by the unprecedented floods caused by a series of cloud-bursts over the Garo Hills in Meghalaya. A detailed assessment of the damages is expected in the next three or four days.
In Shillong, Meghalaya deputy chief minister RC Laloo said preliminary assessment showed that the hill state had suffered a loss to the tune of Rs 1170 crore due to the recent flash floods and landslides. Restoraton of road communication alone would require about Rs 500 crores, he said.