PM to visit Assam today, discuss flood problem

Guwahati
31 Jul 2017

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will pay an one-day visit to Assam on Tuesday to discuss a permanent solution to the flood problem in the state every year.
"The Prime Minister's visit is mainly to find a permanent solution to the flood problem that Assam is facing," state finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said at a press conference here. He will hold two series of discussions here during the day and will leave for Delhi in the evening, he added. The first meeting will be with the council of ministers and state officials. After that, the prime minister will address a meeting of NDA legislatures from BJP, BPF and AGP," Sarma said.
Asked about the state's demand, the minister said Assam has enough funds. "We still have Rs 324 crore of unspent money. Last year the Centre had announced Rs 400 crore (for Assam), but did not send it because we had money," he added. Sarma, however, said the state government will submit a memorandum with some demands. Earlier during the day, Congress leader and former chief minister Tarun Gogoi said Modi is paying a "token visit to the state only after facing severe criticism from all quarters as he visited Gujarat, but neglected Assam."
The Centre has already announced an ex-gratia of Rs two lakh each under the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund for the next of kin of people killed and Rs 50,000 to seriously injured persons in the recent flood in Assam. The PMO requested Assam government to furnish details of requirement of funds along with list incorporating the names of the dead in flood, their next of kin and seriously injured persons. A seven-member inter-ministerial Central team had visited Assam on July 25 for four days to carry out an on-the-spot assessment of flood damage.
The flood situation in the state has improved but one more person was killed in Morigaon district taking the toll in the natural calamity to 83, including eight in Guwahati. According to Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), about 5,000 people are still affected in Lakhimpur and Jorhat districts and 366 people are taking shelter in four relief camps in the two districts. This year, two waves of floods in the state have affected around 25 lakh people from 29 districts prompting the administration to set up 1,098 distribution censtres and relief camps, where about 1.32 lakh people took shelter. Meanwhile, the Union government today told the Parliament that over 90 animals, including seven rhinoceros, have died due to the flooding in the Kaziranga National Park in Assam.
The Assam floods have affected the Kaziranga National Park. Seven rhinos, 82 hog deer, and two sambar deer have died in the flooding, Union environment minister Harsh Vardhan said in a written reply.