| A woman dries grain on a banana stem raft in flooded Majuli on Thursday. Picture by UB Photos |
Guwahati/Dhubri, Sept. 27: Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi has ordered timely and adequate relief to farmers, after the extensive damage caused to the agriculture sector in the recent wave of floods.
This was one of the decisions taken by Gogoi during a review of the flood scene at his Koinadhara residence this evening after returning from his six-day official trip to Tokyo in the afternoon.
This was followed by a review of law and order and of a white paper on the foreigners issue to be released on October 7.
Sources said Gogoi, after taking stock of the overall situation and the government’s response in his absence regarding rescue and relief operations, said the damage to the agriculture sector needs to be tackled promptly and effectively.
He also wanted adequate steps to tackle any health hazard sparked by the floods.
“As we are an agrarian state, he wanted that seeds and fertilisers should be distributed to the affected farmers time. Around 2,26,902 hectares of agricultural land has been affected in this third wave of floods. Altogether 2,594 villages have been affected,” a source said.
As many as 18 districts of the 27 districts and over 20 lakh individuals have been affected so far.
Besides the review, the chief minister will also undertake an aerial survey of the affected districts tomorrow and day after.
Revenue minister Prithibi Majhi, agriculture minister Nilamoni Sen Deka and water resources minister Rajiv Lochan Pegu undertook an aerial survey of Kamrup, Nalbari and Barpeta districts.
They had surveyed the other affected districts in the past two days.
“We reviewed the situation with three deputy commissioners. Things are looking up,” principal secretary revenue and disaster management V.K. Pipersenia told The Telegraph this evening.
Altogether, 19 people have lost their lives and 10 have gone missing in the third wave of floods.
The body of a minor, identified as Doyamoni Barman, 9, was fished out from the flooded area of Asharikandi village under Gauripur police station of Dhubri district today.
Though the water level in Barpeta, Goalpara and Bongaigaon was receding, it showed a rising trend in Dhubri today.
An official source in Dhubri said the water level in Dhubri was 29.77 metres.
This might increase by a centimetre by tonight. However, from tomorrow, it would start falling, he added.
Nearly five lakh people of the lower Assam districts have been affected.
Nearly one lakh people are taking shelters in relief camps and raised platforms or embankments.
Barpeta deputy commissioner Siddhartha Singh said the water level at Barpeta was falling but nearly 10,000 people had been taking shelter in 39 relief camps and embankments.
Dhubri circle officer Mrigesh Narayan Baruah said relief camps had been opened and relief would be distributed from tomorrow.
“We have pressed four more engine-fitted boats into service in addition to 39 already engaged in rescue operations. Nearly 7,000 hectares of agricultural land have been inundated causing damages to rabi and jute cultivation,” Barua added.