Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on July 16 visited flood relief camps in Majuli and did an aerial survey of the flood-affected areas in Assam and took part in a review meeting with Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.
The Union minister also announced that the Central government has released Rs 251.55 crore as the first instalment of State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) to Assam on July 15.
Shekhawat reviewed the flood situation in Assam in presence of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, state Water Resources Minister Keshab Mahanta, Minister of State for Revenue and Disaster Management Bhabesh Kalita and other top officials at a meeting at the LGBI airport in Guwahati.
The Assam government officials informed that as on July 16, total 4,620 numbers of villages under 124 revenue circles in 32 districts of Assam, have been affected in the current wave of flood.
The officials informed that this season, 17 people lost their lives due to floods in the districts of Dhemaji (2), Golaghat (3), Barpeta (1), Jorhat (2), Dhubri (1), Goalpara (1), Morigaon (4), Nagaon (2) and Hailakandi (1) and 2 persons lost their lives due to landslide in Kamrup (M) and Dima Hasao districts.
Till date, about 44.96 lakhs people have been affected in the flood in the 33 districts of Assam.
Presently, 226 relief camps are operational with 1,01,085 inmates and 562 relief distribution centres are functioning in the state.
National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and SDRF teams have been pressed into service in the flood affected areas for search and rescue operations. NDRF team with rescue boats (459 + personnel with boats) have been placed in 16 locations and SDRF has been deployed in 40 locations (338 personnel with rescue boats) of the state.
The chief minister requested the Union minister to take early steps for constitution of North East Water Management Authority which was recommended by High Level Committee headed by vice chairman of NITI Ayog. He also requested to include river erosion in the list of admissible natural calamities under SDRF.
The Assam government will submit an interim memorandum shortly on damage caused. The Union minister assured that a central team will visit the state soon to assess the damage caused.
The meeting was informed that approximately 90 per cent area of Kaziranga National Park is affected in this wave of flood. Animals have moved to the high land and forest officials along with district and sub divisional administration are on alert. Green fodder has also been distributed for the animals.