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Flood situation remains grim in Assam; administration yet to reach all affected people of Silchar, says CM

Though the flood situation has slightly improved, situation is still critical in most of the flood-affected areas of Assam.

Though the flood situation has slightly improved, situation is still critical in most of the flood-affected areas of Assam. | Photo Credit: The Hindu

The flood situation in Assam continued to remain critical on Sunday with more than 25 lakh people still reeling under the deluge, although the water level has started receding from some areas.

Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, during the day, visited Silchar in Cachar district, which is among the worst-affected areas, and assessed the damage caused by flood waters in the Barak valley city.

According to latest updates by Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), over 25 lakh people are still facing difficulties in 27 flood-hit districts of the state, comprising 79 revenue circles and 2,894 villages.

As many as 2.33 lakh have taken shelter in 637 relief camps of the northeastern state, which had been battling floods and landslides for the past two weeks.

Relief materials were being distributed to affected populations that haven't put up at the shelter camps through 259 distribution centres or points that have been opened temporarily, the ASDMA bulletin said.

NDRF had been helping the district administration in safe evacuation of people from affected areas apart from the State forces like SDRF, Fire & Emergency Services, the police and ASDMA volunteers.

So far, 67,237 people have been moved to safety by the various agencies, the bulletin said.

Four more persons died on Saturday in the floods in different parts of Assam, raising this year's toll in the state due to flood and landslides to 121. Fresh landslides were reported from the Kamrup Metropolitan district, the ASDMA said.

During the last 24 hours, the state experienced an average rainfall of 7 mm. Since March 1, the state recorded 1,891.90 mm since March 1.

As per Central Water Commission bulletin, Kopili river at Dharamtul in Nagaon, the Barak at BP Ghat in Karimganj and AP Ghat in Cachar, and its tributary Kushiyara at Karimganj town are flowing above danger levels.

Administration yet to reach all affected people of Silchar: Himanta

With Silchar town in Assam’s Cachar district submerged in flood waters for a week now, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday conceded that the administration has not been able to reach all the marooned people yet.

Mr. Sarma said instructions have been issued to agencies involved in the relief and rescue operations to maximise their reach and ensure help for all affected population at the earliest.

Mr. Sarma waded through the waters on foot at places and sailed in a NDRF rubber boat, as he interacted with the local populace to get a first-hand understanding of their situation.

Cabinet Minister Parimal Suklabaidya, Silchar MP Rajdeep Roy, several MLAs and officials of local civil and police administration accompanied the Chief Minister during the visit.

The CM held a review meeting with district administration officials on the situation and the measures being taken for rescue and relief operations.

Speaking to reporters later, Mr. Sarma accepted that the administration has not been able to reach out to all affected people thus far.

"In many areas, we have not been able to reach out to the marooned people. We are not denying it. I have issued instructions on how to maximise our reach. We are also open to suggestions on the matter," the CM said.

Mr. Sarma appealed to people to stand by each other during this time of distress and appreciated the philanthropic activities by individuals and groups in Silchar.

"About 50% work of the administration is being done by philanthropic organisations and people,” the CM stated.

"People are overall happy with the relief operations. It is not possible to get to each and every person, but more or less we have reached out to everyone who have sought help," Mr. Sarma claimed.

Mr. Sarma said medical camps will be organised in the town from Monday or the day after, and doctors from Guwahati and Army will assist in running these camps.

"The water level at Barak river is still flowing above the danger level. It has to reduce considerably before the damage can be repaired.

“There is forecast of more rain. We are now trying to ensure that there is minimum further damage in case of more rainfall,” the Chief Minister maintained.

Talking about a damaged dyke at Betkundi area, due to which the town has been largely submerged, the CM said repair work will take some time.

Houses of around two lakh people in the town, considered to be the gateway to Barak Valley, have been affected following the damage of the dyke at Betkundi, allegedly by some miscreants.

“Inspected the magnitude of flood & extent of damage at Rangirkhari, Silchar on a boat during my second visit to the flood-hit town,” Mr. Sarma tweeted following the visit.

"During my more-than-one-hour inspection, saw the hardships faced by people as most areas are still reeling under floodwaters. Our government stands firmly with the people of Silchar and we are unwavering in our efforts to lessen their sufferings," the CM added.

The CM had on Thursday made an aerial survey of the marooned town, which has a population of approximately three lakh, visited a few relief camps and reviewed the situation with public representatives and district officials.

Mr. Sarma is set to visit flood relief camps at Hajo in Kamrup district later on Sunday.

Over 96,000 people under Silchar revenue circle of Cachar district are reeling under the deluge, as per Assam State Disaster Management Authority bulletin on Saturday evening.

The overall flood situation in the state also remained critical on Sunday with more than 25 lakh people in 27 districts still affected, although water level have started receding at some areas.

Altogether 121 people have been killed in floods and landslides in the state this year.

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Printable version | Aug 9, 2022 8:25:02 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/flood-situation-remains-grim-in-assam-administration-yet-to-reach-all-affected-people-of-silchar-says-cm/article65567236.ece