File photo of floods in Morigaon district of Assam

Leader of the Opposition in the Assam Legislative Assembly, Debabrata Saikia, on July 15, urged Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, to persuade the central government to send a central team to take stock of the flood situation in Assam.

In a letter addressed to the chief minister on July 15, Saikia further urged him to persuade the centre to announce a special flood relief grant to the state and release pending flood relief and flood management funds to help cope with the present bout of floods.

Saikia pointed out that the central government had given thousands of crores of rupees to other flood-affected states but had not released a single rupee to Assam under National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF) since 2014-2015. The release of central funds under the State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF) to Assam since 2015-2016 also left a lot to be desired because the full amount of allocated funds was not released to Assam.

The Opposition leader suggested that the chief minister should seek additional funds under MGNREGA to develop flood-damaged rural roads and more funds for the PHE department to facilitate provision of potable drinking water.

Saikia also asked Sonowal to instruct district-level officials to manage flood-relief work on a war footing and depute ministers of the state to oversee such work in individual districts.

Saikia also wrote separately to the deputy commissioners of the 30 districts affected by floods so far on July 15 and asked them to ensure that rescue and relief work was carried out smoothly in their respective districts. He called for adequate provision of foodstuff, baby food, fodder for livestock and arrangements for medical aid and medicines along with measures to prevent outbreak of diseases such as Japanese Encephalitis.

Saikia asked the deputy commissioners to arrange for boats to ferry people at places where floodwaters have disrupted surface communication.

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