Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Saturday said the state government is working to minimise the problems faced by people during the ongoing floods in the state.
He said that he spoke to Union Home Minister Amit Shah who assured him of help from the Central government.
“Recently I met Amit Shah and he told me that there is no need for packages. Whatever expenses you incur, we (Centre) will give that. You keep on spending, don’t wait. Just let us know what you need, and we will release,” Sarma said. Addressing a press conference held at Janata Bhawan in Guwahati, the Chief Minister said that, the state has witnessed two waves of flood this year so far and 34 districts have been affected. “As many as 9,918 villages under 152 revenue circles have been affected in this flood and the affected population is around 90 lakh. A total of 195 people have lost their lives in floods and landslides this year so far and 37 others are still missing,” Sarma said.
“During the flood, 54,837 cattle died and 2,40,096 hectares of crop area were affected. A total of 7,42,250 inmates were lodged in relief camps or camp-like places. We had distributed 2,19,298 quintals of rice, 44,000 quintals of dal, and 7 lakh litres of mustard oil among the flood-affected people, he said.
He further said that nearly 1 lakh people were evacuated by the Indian Army, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF), and administration. “Few people are still lodged in relief camps and I think they will go back to their homes in the next 3-4 days. We have provided Rs 3,800 to each of the 1,81,859 affected families and the fund has been transferred,” the Chief Minister said.
“This is a massive operation. Today, we have transferred Rs 1,000 to 1,01,539 students’ bank accounts who were affected in the flood and we have disbursed almost Rs 10 crore,” Sarma said. The Chief Minister on Saturday ceremonially launched Chief Minister’s Special Book Grant by providing Rs 1,000 to 1,01,539 students.
“The Education department will provide additional textbooks to the affected students. We have also paid Rs 4 lakh each to the next kin of deceased people,” Sarma said. He also said that “25,670 houses were fully or severely damaged and 2,78,260 houses were partially damaged in the flood. Damages assessment will be continued till July 20. We will have to need Rs 400 crore for house damages relief grant.” The state government teams led by Ministers will visit each flood-affected district to access the damage report from the ground from July 20, the Chief Minister said.
“We will have to need t least Rs 1,000 crore for rebuilding the infrastructure damage,” Sarma said.