Even as the overall flood scenario in Assam remained unchanged, Kiren Rijiju, Union Minister of State for Home, arrived in the state on Thursday morning to take stock of the situation and submit a report to the Centre.
“I am making a tour of the worst-affected districts of Majuli and Dhemaji and will submit a preliminary report to the Centre. The state government has taken effective steps to rescue the flood-affected people and provide them relief materials. People have been getting rice, salt, oil and other essential food in the relief camps,” Rijiju said soon after the local administration made a presentation before him at the Lilabari airport in Lakhimpur in eastern Assam.
Over 17 lakh people have been severely affected by the floods in 24 of the state’s 32 districts, while 45 persons including several women and children have lost their lives. Lakhimpur, Karimganj and Majuli have remained the worst-affected districts, with hundreds of families losing all their valuable possessions including textbooks of school-going children.
The situation in Lakhimpur has remained grim since Tuesday morning after flash floods were caused by the North-Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO), which released a huge quantity of water from its Ranganadi hydro-electric project dam in Arunachal Pardesh. Over 2.80 lakh people were affected in Lakhipur district alone, while 1.38 lakh people have been affected in adjoining Dhemaji district.
In Majuli, the island district which is also an Assembly constituency represented by Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, the Brahmaputra has caused three breaches on its embankments, inundating houses of over 50,000 people. Over 50 families have lost their homestead and cultivation land due to massive river-bank erosion caused by the Brahmaputra.
Rijiju, who is accompanied by a team of officials from Niti Ayog, NDRF and Union Home Ministry, will also go to Arunachal Pradesh, his home state, after touring the two Assam districts to take stock of the floods and landslides that have claimed several lives. Fourteen persons were buried alive after a massive landslide wiped out half of Laptap, a village in Papum Pare district in Arunachal Pradesh on Tuesday.