Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma on Wednesday announced Rs 4 lakh ex-gratia to the family of those killed in floods in the state. He also said it will take 45 days to restore rail connectivity to the Silchar district and another 2-3 days for the clearing of road disruptions.
The announcement comes amid panic over the availability of essentials, transport fuel and vegetables grip the northeastern region as the railway line through Assam’s Dima Hasao district connecting Tripura, Mizoram, Manipur and southern Assam remained snapped for the fifth day following heavy landslides triggered by incessant rains.
CM Sarma held a video conference with Meghalaya counterpart Conrad Sangma and appealed to the neighbouring state to extend all support in sending essential supplies to the Barak Valley. The Chief Minister has taken up the matter of clearing the route with his Meghalaya counterpart, according to the official statement.
The meeting was also attended by officials from the Indian Army, Air Force and NDRF.
The chief minister urged people to not panic and said the state’s fuel capacity will be able to sustain till next week.
After chairing a meeting of the state cabinet, Sarma said at a press conference that an MoU has been signed with the airline to run special flights between Silchar and Guwahati at a fixed rate of Rs 3,000 per ticket. Extra charges if any will be subsidised by the state government.
Flybig will also help those stranded in the Barak Valley. “They will operate these flights for the next 10 days and we hope that everyday 70-100 stranded passengers will avail the service. The additional cost will be taken care of by the government as subsidy to the airline,” he said.
Ministers Atul Bora and Ronuj Pegu have been asked to monitor the situation in Hojai while ministers Ashok Singhal and Jogen Mohan have been directed to keep an eye on the situation in Barak Valley.
Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the last three days were difficult for the state, especially severe in Dima Hasao and Hojai district as landslides were triggered by incessant rain. Describing the situation in Barak Valley as “not good,” he said 26 districts are hit by the current spate in the state. “I have spoken to the Chief Executive Member of the Council,” he said, adding 4 MT of food and flood relief has been airdropped to people in the state and another 12 MT of aid will be air-dropped from Jorhat tomorrow.
Road connection to the affected district has been restored to some portion he said adding the disaster minister shall visit the district tomorrow to oversee relief and rehabilitation operations. Two cabinet ministers will reach Silchar tomorrow. The NDRF and SDRF are helping flood-affected evacuations in Hojai and a cabinet minister will visit Hojai tomorrow, he added.
The flood situation in Assam deteriorated on Wednesday with one more person losing his life and over 6.62 lakh people getting impacted by the deluge.
Meanwhile, schools, educational institutions and non-essential private institutions will remain closed for 48 hours in the Cachar district due to the worsening flood situation, district deputy commissioner Keerthi Jalli said.