Assam: Central team starts to review floods damage in state

Guwahati: A central team arrived in Assam today to assess the damage caused by the floods in the state’s 27 districts. The first wave of floods and landslides has so far killed 125 people with at least 17 people missing, says the State Disaster Management Authority.

Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who July 2 surveyed some of the flood-affected areas in helicopters, had announced Rs.500 crore as immediate relief and assured all possible help after the team submitted its report to the union government.

After its arrival, the seven members of the team left for upper Assam, lower Assam and Barak Valley in three groups, accompanied by state government officials.

The central team is likely to meet Assam Chief Secretary Naba Kumar Das and officials of various departments including revenue, water resources and agriculture Thursday before leaving for New Delhi, an official.

They would then submit a report to the government.

“Meanwhile, another team, including officials from the union ministry of environment and forests will visit the state to assess the damage to wildlife during the first wave of floods that also affected the national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and all protected areas for animals in the state,”  said senior official of the Kaziranga National Park.

The date for the visit has not yet been fixed.

The official said 594 animals of the park, including 17 one-horned rhinos, have died this year in the floods.

The floods, which were highest in the last eight years, had also damaged the anti-poaching infrastructure inside the national parks and other such protected areas in the state.