GUWAHATI: Deaths galore in the first wave of the flood in Assam. Four people perished on Tuesday, taking the death toll to 17. Two others had died in landslides. Altogether 44.96 lakh people have been affected in the state’s all 33 districts.
The Centre on Tuesday released grant-in-aid of Rs.251.55 crore to the state government as the first installment while Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat had an aerial survey of the flood-affected areas. He also reviewed the flood situation with Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and others.
Most rivers were in a spate, flowing above the danger level at various places. The Brahmaputra water inundated some localities of Guwahati, creating panic among the residents. The last time the water of the mighty river had entered the city was in 2004.
At Panikhaiti on city outskirts, several families were taking refuge on rooftop of their thatched houses as the Brahmaputra inundated the area. The flood victims are cooking food, eating it and sleeping, all on their housetop. In several other places of the state, people are doing the same by taking refuge on country boats.
In Dhubri, flooding at the district jail forced the authorities to shift over 700 jail inmates to a women’s college. They were lodged at an upper floor of the college. The flood inundated several areas of the Lower Assam town.
Assam Minister Naba Kumar Doley on Tuesday visited the Kaziranga National Park and took stock of the situation. Almost the entire park is under water with thirty animals, including rhinos, hog deer and wild boars of the World Heritage site, dead, some of them being hit by moving vehicles. The other national parks and wildlife sanctuaries have also submerged.
The Army has kept on a standby its flood relief columns for deployment on short notice. Defence sources said altogether 95 flood relief columns along with additional 31 columns as reserve had been kept on a standby. As on date, five columns have been requisitioned and are helping in the relief operations.