Flood recedes in Assam, toll mounted to over 70

News Hour:

The first wave of monsoon flood in Assam starts receding as the rains stopped in the last 48 hours. However, it causes severe damages to north-eastern part of the State with over 70 casualties.

Over ten lakh people were affected by the flood that swept 21 districts of Assam in the last couple of days. The authorities have opened 256 relief camps and distribution centers, where around 19 000 persons were taking shelter.

According to Assam State Disaster Management Authority, over 1100 villages of Lakhimpur, Dhemaji, Biswanath, Golaghat, Jorhat, Sivasagar, Morigaon, Nagaon, Karimganj, Cachar, Nalbari, Barpeta, Bongaigaon, Chirang, South Salmara, Goalpara, Dhubri etc districts were still suffering due to various flood related problems.

Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal has already directed all district magistrates to ensure relief materials to the affected families without delay. People who are not in relief camps but affected by floods nevertheless must also be provided relief, added Sonowal while interacting with the district magistrates through video-conferencing.

He also instructed the concerned officials to take steps to prevent an outbreak of diseases in the aftermath of the flood. Moreover, he insisted on providing quality seeds for cultivation to the affected farmers in the flood-affected areas immediately after the water receded.

Lately meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on 18 July Sonowal requested his support to rebuild flood affected infrastructures and also revive two units under Hindustan Paper Corporation in the State. The chief minister requested Modi to launch ‘Prime Minister’s Special Programme for Flood and Erosion Control’ for developing road-cum-embankments stretching 5,000 km.

Drawing the attention of the Prime Minister, he pointed out that most of the existing embankments of Assam were constructed way back in the 1950s and those are now vulnerable to breach due to perennial flood and river bank erosion.

“If these 5000 km embankments are developed as road-cum-embankments, it will ensure regular maintenance and sustainability of the embankments,” commented Sonowal adding that the State lacks resources for developing road-cum-embankments and hence he pleaded for an exclusive program under PM’s supervision to act as a deterrent to flood & erosion.

Pleading for the revival of HPC’s paper units at Jagiroad and Panchgram, Sonowal stated that the closure of these two mills had adversely affected the industrial climate apart from delving a blow to the lakhs of bamboo farmers in the region. He urged PM Modi to direct the Union heavy industries ministry to take steps for revival of both the units at the earliest.

Nava Thakuria

Nava Thakuria is a Guwahati (North East India) based journalist, who contributes to News Hour and various other media outlets. He writes over various socio-political and environmental issues of North East India along with Bangladesh, Burma, Tibet, Bhutan, and Nepal. One of his areas of interest is also the media and its development.
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