GUWAHATI: Monsoon floods have devastated the state of Assam with the death toll rising to sevem on Saturday. Over 14 lakh people have been affected so far. The latest death was reported from Dhemaji district.
Several rivers were flowing in full spate prompting authorities to suspend boat and ferry services. The Brahmaputra was flowing above the danger level at various places including Guwahati.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah called up Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Saturday and took stock of the situation.
Official sources said the CM gave a detailed account of the deluge which has also inundated vast swathes of land in 25 of the state’s 33 districts. Shah assured all help from the Centre.
Altogether 2,168 villages and localities have been affected so far. 51,752 hectares of cropland too were destroyed. 20,047 people are staying in 234 relief camps.
Roads, culverts, bridges and river embankments have been partially or completely submerged. In the worst-hit Dhemaji and Lakhimpur districts of Northern Assam, affected people were seen taking shelter on highlands and even a highway.
The situation remained grim in the famous Kaziranga National Park with several forest camps of the park going under water.
“The flood water has submerged nearly 80 per cent of the park. The whole of Agoratoli range is submerged. The level of water in Upper Assam is stable now but since it is coming from that part, it may rise by one or two feet tomorrow. The impact of flood in Kaziranga will possibly remain for the next 10 to 15 days,” the park’s director P Sivakumar said.
He said while the elephants and deer kept moving towards the hills of neighbouring Karbi Anglong, the rhinos were still there in the fringe areas of the park on the south and north banks of the Brahmaputra.
During every flood, rhino poachers try to take advantage of the situation. However, Sivakumar said all measures were being taken to thwart poaching.
“The risk of poaching is there during such times. We have put all our security personnel all over bordering areas of Karbi Anglong. The Superintendents of Police of Karbi Anglong, Nagaon and Golaghat districts are also taking necessary steps to foil attempts of poaching. The Deputy Commissioners (District Magistrates) are also closely monitoring the situation,” he added.