Six-member Central team to assess flood damage in Assam

A six-member Central team would arrive in Assam on Wednesday to assess the damage caused by the monsoon floods
Six-member Central team to assess flood damage in Assam

GUWAHATI: A six-member Central team would arrive in Assam on Wednesday to assess the damage caused by the monsoon floods that affected 57 lakh people and killed at least 113 people between May 22 and August 20, officials said on Monday.

Assam's Revenue Department Commissioner-cum-Secretary M.S. Manivannan said that the central team led by Sandeep Poundrik, Joint Secretary (Mitigation), National Disaster Management Authority, would visit some flood-affected districts to assess the damage to property, crops and various other assets including river dams.

"During the three-day visit to the State, the Central team would hold meetings with senior officials of the Assam government and disaster management authority," Manivannan said over phone. He added that the Assam government has sent an interim flood damage report to the Centre and has demanded around Rs 2,300 crore as compensation for the tragedy.

"The floods since May and until August 20 had caused huge damage to the infrastructure including roads, bridges and embankments."

He also said that over 81,000 people were rescued by the National Disaster Response Force and Assam State Disaster Response Force personnel.

Like previous years, Assam this year too witnessed devastating floods that killed 113 people in 22 districts, while 26 others were killed in landslides since May 22. With a respite in monsoon rains, the situation significantly improved in the first week of this month even as 57 lakh people have been affected in 5,378 villages in 30 of the state's 33 districts.

According to the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) officials, a total of 2,65,402 hectares of crops in 30 districts are badly affected while the worst-hit 11 districts are Goalpara, Morigaon, Bongaigaon, Dhemaji, Baksa, Nagaon, Kokrajhar, Dhubri, Sonitpur, Jorhat and Kamrup. The floods also badly hit domestic and wild animals in various sanctuaries and national parks including the world-famous Kaziranga National Park, where 18 rhinos and 135 wild animals died due to the havoc of the deluge.

Kaziranga National Park Director Karmashree P. Sivakumar said that 172 wild animals have been rescued from floodwaters, even though over 95 per cent of the park remained inundated until July 23. "Last year, 263 animals, including many endangered rhinos, were killed in floods while 169 animals were rescued...all-out efforts are being made to take care of the animals in the entire Kaziranga National Park," Sivakumar told IANS over phone.

The animals that perished this year include 18 rhinos, 107 hog deer, 12 wild boars, six wild buffaloes, four porcupines and three swamp deer. The 172 rescued animals include three rhinos, 120 hog deer, 31 pythons and four cobras. Various NGOs and individuals including Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar have donated funds and provided relief material to the flood-affected people.

Narayan Seva Sansthan, a Rajasthan-based NGO, also provided relief material including food to 1,000 flood-affected families in Tinsukia, Sivasagar and Jorhat districts. (IANS)

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