Monday, 30th October 2017

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Assam flood situation remains grim

House session postponed on CM request

  • Published 17.07.19, 12:26 AM
  • Updated 17.07.19, 12:26 AM
  • 2 mins read
A flood-affected villager moves LPG cylinders loaded on a boat to a safer place in Morigaon on Tuesday PTI photo

The monsoon session of the Assam Assembly, which was scheduled to begin on Thursday, has been postponed to July 26 owing to the severity of floods in the state.

Speaker Hitendra Nath Goswami on Tuesday said governor Jagdish Mukhi had agreed in principle to postpone the Assembly session following a request by chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal. “We are thankful to the governor for agreeing to the request. The governor is likely to issue a fresh summons notifying the new dates soon,” he said.

Goswami said Sonowal moved the governor after several legislators had urged the chief minister to defer the session as they were involved in rescue and relief operations in flood-hit areas.

With the postponement, the election of deputy Speaker, scheduled for July 23, will now be held on a later date. The election was necessitated after incumbent Kripanath Mallah’s election to the Lok Sabha from Karimganj as a BJP candidate.

According to the earlier schedule, the monsoon session was to be held from July 18 to 25. The revised schedule is yet to be finalised.

“During the Speaker’s Initiative, we will have an in-depth discussion on the problems of Barak Valley. A stakeholders’ meeting will be held on July 23 where prominent individuals and organisations of Barak Valley will hold discussions with the legislators so that they can effectively raise the problems faced by the people in the House,” Goswami said.

The initiative is a procedural device under which the Speaker, in consultation with the Assembly’s business advisory committee, allots the last day of every session for raising an important matter of the state, which was not discussed in the House at length during the usual course of business.

Goswami said the report of the all-party delegation of the Assembly, which had visited areas affected by the hooch tragedy in Golaghat and Jorhat districts in March, would be tabled in the House during the session. More than 150 people had lost their lives after consuming spurious liquor in these two districts.

The BEd common entrance test of Gauhati University and the Indo-Bangladesh Stakeholders’ Meet have also been postponed. The BEd entrance test has been deferred from July 19 to 25 and the stakeholders’ meet from July 19 and 20 put off indefinitely.

Army role: Lt Gen. M.M. Naravane, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Command, on Tuesday took stock of the flood situation and was briefed by commanders about the prevailing situation. Gen. Navarane said the situation was currently under control and assured a quick response from the army for relief work.

The army was called out to rescue marooned people in Baksa and Nalbari districts.

“Five army columns have been requisitioned and are helping in the relief operations and 126 columns have been kept on standby,” an army source said. “The army is closely monitoring the situation in coordination with the civil administration and geared up to deal with any eventuality,” he added.

Twenty-one villages under Daboka revenue circle in Hojai district have been submerged by rising floodwaters of the Jamuna, the Kopili and the Nikhari stream. Nearly261 families have taken shelter in relief camps.

Six villages under Kalaigaon revenue circle in Udalguri district were flooded on Tuesday by the rising waters of the Noa. The Beki has flooded several villages under Salbari subdivision of Baksa district. Army troops, along with the civil administration, evacuated 150 stranded villagers. The All Bodo Minority Students’ Union extended flood relief to 109 flood-hit families sheltered in neighbouring Barpeta district.

Parts of Uzanbazar, Pandu, Maligaon, Chunsali, Noonmati Sector I, Paschim Mayang and Panikhaiti in Guwahati were submerged by the rising waters of the Brahmaputra on Tuesday.

Chandra Dutta, section assistant, inland water transport department, said: “The water level had reached 51.66 metres on Tuesday morning while danger level is at 49.68m.”

“Ferry services are suspended since July 12. Around 2,000 people travel daily from Fancy Bazar ghats to North Guwahati,” he said.

Dutta said extra ASTC buses are plying from Kachari to Dol Govinda in North Guwahati to tide over the commuter rush.

Additional reporting by Nikhil Mundra in Hojai, Shajid Khan in Udalguri and Rokibuz Zaman in Guwahati