Assam floods: PM Modi assures Centre’s assistance as death toll mounts to 48https://indianexpress.com/article/india/pm-modi-assures-delegation-of-assam-mps-of-help-to-tide-over-flood-crisis-5838369/

Assam floods: PM Modi assures Centre’s assistance as death toll mounts to 48

The rampaging flood in Assam has so far claimed the lives of 48 people and displaced nearly 54 lakh people.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets Union Minister of State for Food Processing Industries Rameswar Teli and a delegation of Assam MPs, in New Delhi. (PTI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday assured a delegation of MPs from Assam of providing all central assistance to the flood-hit state where 28 of the 33 districts have been affected by the deluge. The rampaging flood has so far claimed the lives of 48 people and displaced nearly 54 lakh people, news agency ANI reported.

The assurance to 10 BJP MPs from Assam came after they called on the PM Modi to apprise him about the flood situation in the state and urged him to provide financial assistance to tide over the crisis.

“The Prime Minister gave us a patient hearing and assured that all central assistance will be given to the state government to provide succour to the distress people,” MP from Mangaldoi Dilip Saikia told PTI after the meeting.

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Morigaon: Women carry pitchers filled with drinking water as they wade through the flooded area following heavy monsoon rain. (PTI)

Later, the Prime Minister’s Office tweeted, “A delegation of MPs from Assam, including Union Minister Shri Rameswar Teli met PM @narendramodi. There were discussions on the prevailing flood situation in the state and the steps being taken to assist those affected (sic).”

Apart from Saikia and Teli, those who met the Prime Minister include Kamkhya Prasad Tasa, Pallab Lochan Das, Pradan Baruah, Tapon Kumar Gogoi, Rajdeep Roy, Queen Oza, Kripanath Mallah and Horen Singh Bey.

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Though the Central government on Tuesday released Rs 251.55 crore as assistance from the central share of SDRF for 2019-20, the team also submitted a memorandum to Modi urging him to announce a special package to mitigate the floods, which every year damage roads, houses, and crops.

“The flood damages happen every year and it affects the entire Assam and it has become a nightmare for the people of Assam,” the memorandum said. Saikia said 1.11 lakh flood-affected people are currently in relief camps and the deluge has hit 114 revenue circles of the state.

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A view of a flood-affected area, following heavy monsoon rain. (PTI)

Meanwhile, Assam Governor Jagdish Mukhi reviewed the prevailing flood situation in presence of Alok Kumar, Chief Secretary to the Govt of Assam and several senior officials at the Governor house.

Apart from the 1080 relief camps, the state administration is also running 689 relief distribution centres where essential items like food, potable water, baby food, medicines, mosquito repellants, sanitary napkins, and fodder are being provided. The NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) and SDRF (State Disaster Response Force) teams are working round the clock to evacuate those marooned.

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NDRF officials carry out rescue and relief operations in a flood-affected area, following heavy monsoon in Assam. (PTI)

Famous rhinoceros habitats — the Kaziranga National Park (KNP) and the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary — continued to remain under the surging waters of the mighty Brahmaputra and its tributaries flowing above the danger mark in Guwahati and other parts of the state.

This has forced the wild animals, including rhinos, elephants, deer and wild boars, to take refuge in artificial highlands constructed within the parks or migrate to the southern highlands of Karbi Anglong hills. Due to the heavy rains, Section 144 was also briefly imposed around the vicinity of the Kaziranga National Park.