Prime Minister Manmohan Singh,who made an aerial survey of three of Assams 27 flood-affected districts on Monday,described it as one of the worst floods in recent times. He announced an ad hoc support of Rs 500 crore.
I have witnessed the extensive damage that the floods have caused. The people of Assam are facing one of the worst floods in recent times. These floods have led to loss of lives and have afflicted considerable damage to crops,embankments,roads,and other infrastructure, Singh,at the end of his tour ,said in a statement.
The Prime Minister,who was accompanied by Congress president and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi,first flew straight to Jorhat in Upper Assam,where they were joined by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi. They flew for over an hour by helicopter over flood-affected areas in Jorhat,Dhemaji and Lakhimpur districts before returning to Guwahati to discuss the crisis with the state government.
According to officials,the death toll has risen to 81,including 16 who lost their lives in landslides caused by massive rains,while at least 11 persons have been reported missing till date.
Singh said a Central team had already reached Assam to make an on-the-spot assessment of the damage caused by the floods. The team would assess the damage caused to crops and infrastructure like roads including national highways,river embankments,water supply system and public buildings such as schools and hospitals,he said.
While the Central government will decide on the exact amount of financial support to be provided to the state after the Central team submits report,I am making a commitment to provide an ad hoc Central support of Rs 500 crore to the state government, Singh said.
He also said that the Railway Ministry was taking immediate steps for restoration of the hill section railway line in Dima Hasao district to keep the supply line open to Barack Valley,Manipur,Tripura and Mizoram. The track suffered immensely due to landslides at over 90 locations on June 25.
The PM expressed satisfaction at the rescue and relief operations and praised the National Disaster Response Force ,Army and Air Force for rescuing a large number of people caught in the floods.
The Central government and its agencies are working closely with the state government and doing everything possible to provide relief to the affected people, he said.