Representative image of Assam flood

‘Himalayan challenges’ lie ahead for Assam in its efforts to combat the novel coronavirus pandemic as the state is also preparing to tackle the challenges of nature, including storms, floods and erosion, while not allowing any let up in its battle against the deadly virus.

Interacting with editors and senior journalists in Guwahati on May 2, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said, “Lockdown is the only way to beat the novel coronavirus pandemic at the moment till any vaccine or medicine is found. There is no alternative and we have to follow the lockdown rules, social distancing and personal hygiene”.

“Alongside the pandemic, our state will also face the onslaught of nature in the form of rains, storm and floods soon. We are preparing to handle these problems also,” he said.

The chief minister said all departments have been alerted to draw plans for handling the annual problems of flood and erosion while making no dent in the fight against COVID 19.

On the measures during the nationwide lockdown, Sonowal said all steps are being taken to ensure uninterrupted supply chain of essential commodities.

He lauded the roles of all essential service providers, including personnel of health, home, transport, food and civil supplies, agriculture and power departments as well as media during the lockdown.

State health and finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, speaking at the meeting, said, “In Assam, we have Himalayan challenges ahead of us in the form of floods and Japanese Encephalitis among others, while we continue to tackle the corona pandemic”.

He added that the government was taking up steps to mitigate the problems of the people, including providing financial assistance.

Several other Cabinet ministers, including transport and industry minister Chandra Mohan Patowary, agriculture minister Atul Bora and water resources minister Keshab Mahanta, and senior officials, including the chief secretary and the director general of police were present at the meeting.

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