The next of kin of all those persons who had lost their lives in the recent devastating floods in Assam would receive an ex-gratia of Rs two lakh each from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF), the Assam chief minister’s office informed here on Thursday. Altogether 79 persons have lost their lives in the floods that are still on in six districts.
The announcement came close on the heels of chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal’s recent meeting with the prime minister in New Delhi, during which the latter was apprised of the gravity of the devastating floods in the state, the CMO’s office, in a press release said. “The Prime Minister’s Office has also requested the government of Assam to furnish details of fund requirement along with the list of names of deceased, their next of kin and also a list of the seriously injured persons with their complete postal address,” it said.
The Assam government has already paid Rs 4 lakh to the next of kin of all persons who had lost their lives in this year’s floods, with chief minister Sonowal directing officials to ensure handing over the cheques within 48 hours of the deaths.
Meanwhile, a seven-member inter-ministerial Central team on Thursday wound up their three-day visit to the severely flood-affected districts of Assam after making an on-the-spot-assessment of flood damage. “We have seen the trail of devastation left behind by the floods. We will soon submit our report to the government of India,” V Shashank Shekhar, a joint secretary in the union home ministry who was leader of the team, said here on Thursday after meeting chief minister Sonowal in the state secretariat.
The overall flood situation has significantly improved in the state, with the official flood report saying only six districts were in the grip of floods on Thursday. About 11,000 people were however still reeling under floods in Lakhimpur, Nagaon, Jorhat, Sivasagar, Golaghat and Karimganj, with a little over 2,000 people currently lodged in 10 relief camps, the daily report said.
The floods have devastated over 2.10 lakh hectares of crop area in Assam, of which about 40,000 hectare of paddy fields have been rendered unusable due to heavy silt deposit ranging from two to 10 feet. “Many families will be forced to migrate out in search of livelihood because of this,” Shashank Shekhar, joint secretary in the union home secretary said at the end of his three-day assessment of the flood-affected areas.