The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Rs 700-cr loss in Assam floods

Sept. 10: Repeated floods in Assam this year have affected over 1 crore people and caused severe damage to the state’s economy.

Dispur today pegged the losses in the mainstay agriculture sector alone at over Rs 700 crore.

“The state has lost more than Rs 700 crore in the first two waves of floods. Damages caused by the fresh floods are still being assessed,” minister for agriculture, Pramila Rani Brahma, said today.

The minister added that the floods have affected 11 lakh families dependent on agriculture and damaged about 4 lakh hectare of cropland.

The agriculture department has submitted a Rs 68.27- crore flood relief scheme, of which Rs 5 crore has been sanctioned for free distribution of black and green gram and other assorted vegetable seeds. Chief minister Tarun Gogoi today announced that the state government would constitute a Flood and Erosion Commission within a month with retired bureaucrat Bhaskar Baruah as its chairman. The commission would devise strategies and carry out research to mitigate hardships.

The situation in the state remained grim today, with the Regional Meteorological Centre predicting more rainfall. The floods have claimed 55 lives so far, with eight persons dying in the fresh wave.

A flood bulletin issued by the Central Water Commission this evening said both the Brahmaputra and the Barak were flowing above the danger mark in 21 places. The Brahmaputra is flowing 0.10 metres above the danger level in Guwahati, with a rising trend. It is above the danger level at Dibrugarh, Neamatighat, Tezpur and Goalpara. The Dhansiri is flowing above the red mark at Golaghat and Numaligarh.

The flood situation in Cachar district remained unchanged with the Barak flowing 1.5 metres above the danger mark.

The army today fanned out in five blocks of Cachar and Hailakandi districts to carry out rescue operations. With rail and road communication disrupted, Silchar today virtually remained cut off from the rest of the state. Most parts of the town are waterlogged.

The Karimganj district administration last night flashed a red alert in the district headquarters town after the Kushiara breached its embankments and flooded many commercial and residential hubs. Deputy commissioner Anurag Goel ordered the closure of schools in the town for three days from today. The Assam Central University has also suspended classes on its Dargakona campus for three days.

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