The flood situation in Assam worsened on Wednesday with one person losing his life and nearly three lakh people suffering in the deluge across 11 districts.
According to the daily flood report of the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), one person was killed at Rongjuli in Goalpara district.
At present, around 2.72 lakh persons are affected due to flood in Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Nagaon, Hojai, Darrang, Barpeta, Nalbari, Goalpara, West Karbi Anglong, Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districts, it said.
Goalpara is the worst-hit district with 2.15 lakh people affected, followed by Nalbari with over 22,000 people hit and Nagaon with nearly 11,000 persons. Till Tuesday, around 1.95 lakh people were affected in seven districts.
The NDRF and SDRF have rescued nine people in the last 24 hours in Goalpara, while 172.53 quintals of rice, dal, salt and 804.42 litres of mustard oil have been distributed along with tarpaulin and other essential items.
Currently, Brahmaputra is flowing above the danger mark at Nimatighat in Jorhat, while Jia Bharali at NH Road Crossing in Sonitpur and Puthimari at NH Road Crossing in Kamrup. At present, 321 villages are under water and 2,678 hectares of crop areas have been damaged, the ASDMA said.
The authorities are running 57 relief camps and distribution centres in five districts where 16,720 people are taking shelter.
Embankments, roads, bridges, culverts and many other infrastructure have been damaged at various places in Golaghat, Barpeta, Nalbari, Dhemaji, Majuli, Hojai, Sonitpur, Chirang, Karimganj, Nagaon, Bongaigaon, Dima Hasao, Baksa and Lakhimpur.
Massive erosions have been witnessed at various places in Majuli, Sonitpur, Tinsukia, Chirang, Baksa, Biswanath and South Salmara districts, the ASDMA said.
While 70 people were affected by the erosion in Biswanath, the Mander Gaon ME School was washed away in South Salmara.
The report further said that at least 30 houses were damaged in landslides in four villages of Dima Hasao, affecting 72 persons. Because of the landslide in the district, movement of three ‘Shramik Special’ trains were disrupted on Tuesday night until the tracks were repaired.
“The three trains were bound for Agartala and Jiribam in Manipur. We stopped them at Guwahati and Lumding stations. After the lines were cleared, the movement started again at 11:30 am today,” Northeast Frontier Railway Public Relations Officer Nripen Bhattacharyya said.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal Wednesday directed officials to ensure that all COVID-19 protocols such as social distancing, hand washing and wearing of masks are maintained at the flood relief camps so that community spread of disease can be contained during the season.
The chief minister, reviewing the flood situation in the state with officials of the ASDMA and senior officers of other departments, directed the Deputy Commissioners of all districts to keep soap and water for hand washing, masks for inmates and properly sanitise the flood relief camps.
He also directed the district administrations to ensure that no irregularities take place while distributing relief materials and also release ex gratia payments within 48 hours to the next of kin of those who lose their life in the floods.
He also instructed the Deputy Commissioners to regularly review the relief distribution system so that accountability can be fixed, if any irregularity takes place, and keep an information board in all relief camps showing details of how much relief materials have been received by every individual inmate.
The Centre has released Rs 386 crore as the first installment this year to the State Disaster Relief Fund and the chief minister emphasised on its proper utilisation for providing succour to those affected by the floods.
Sonowal also directed the power department to cut off supply to the transformers submerged in floods so that no accidental electrocution takes place. The chief minister also directed the Public Works Department (PWD) to take steps for repairing 157 roads damaged by floods in eight districts.
He also directed the Inland Water Department to take precautionary measures to avoid boat mishaps during the rainy season and strictly enforce wearing of masks by crews and the passengers of ferries and the boats.
The chief minister instructed the veterinary department to provide cattle feed to the domestic animals in the flood-affected areas and also provide food to the wild animals in Kaziranga National Park and other such flood-affected wildlife sanctuaries.
Meanwhile, Sonowal called on Governor Jagadish Mukhi and apprised him about the prevailing flood situation in the state. The chief minister also apprised the governor of the steps taken by the government to deal with the COVID-19 situation, especially in view of the recent surge in the number of positive cases.
They also discussed ways to increase economic activities during the lockdown and strengthen the state’s fiscal health.
Sonowal also drew the governor’s attention to the torrential rains that have created a flood situation, submerging seven districts of the state, the official said.
He also apprised the governor of several welfare schemes and their implementation for the benefits of all sections of the society.