Guwahati, July 13: Dispur today alerted central agencies and all district administrations against any eventuality following forecasts of “heavy to very heavy” rainfall in neighbouring Arunachal Pradesh in the next few days which might worsen the situation in Assam, most parts of which are still reeling under floods.
Sources said senior officials of the army, IAF, BSF, NDRF, Northeast Space Application Centre, Railways, NHAI and the Indian meteorological department were present at the meeting convened by chief secretary N.K. Das this morning.
Most of these agencies have helped out Dispur in relief and rescue operations, saving thousands of lives by working in tandem with the local authorities.
It is clear from the development that Dispur is not taking any chances as heavy rain in Arunachal Pradesh leads to flooding in Assam. “Such was the case this time. It will be the same in the future,” an official said.
Dispur cannot any chances, especially when seven districts are still reeling under floods, the Brahamputra and its tributaries are flowing above the danger level at Neematighat, Dhubri, Sonitpur and Barpeta, and the death toll has officially touched 125.
“More rainfall in the upper reaches means more trouble for Assam. Central agencies and all district heads have been put on alert. We are well prepared, there is nothing to worry,” the official said.
A. Kumar, deputy director-general of the Regional Meteorological Centre, Guwahati, who attended the meeting, told this correspondent that heavy to very heavy and widespread rainfall is predicted in Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Assam, besides light to moderate rainfall in the other states of the region in the next few days. “I informed the NEC and the Assam State Disaster Management Authority yesterday about the forecast. It is better to be prepared because the water level has not yet completely receded,” he said.
Other issues pertaining to the recent floods were also discussed at the meeting.
Sources said Dispur had placed a demand for Rs 3,986 crore from the National Disaster Response Fund and a special package of Rs 11,092 crore for flood and erosion management in the state before the central team that arrived here on Tuesday to take stock of the flood situation. The team left this morning.
“This is over and above the Rs 530 crore we have under the State Disaster Response Fund which we also get from the NDRF,” a source said.
Led by joint secretary, ministry of home affairs, G.V.V. Sarma, a seven-member inter-ministerial team reviewed the scene with state government officials at the secretariat last evening. The team was divided into three sub-groups.
“The central team got the impression that the state was badly affected. They were sympathetic to our concerns and demands but what we get will depend on their recommendations and as per norms,” an official said.
Yesterday, Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Nabam Tuki had called on Union home minister P. Chidambaram to apprise him of the damage caused by torrential rain in the state over the past two months. Chidambaram assured him that a central team would visit the state and its report would decide the quantum of help the state would get from Delhi.