15 killed, over 20 lakh homeless in Assam | india | Hindustan Times
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15 killed, over 20 lakh homeless in Assam

The flood situation in Assam remained grim on Tuesday, with 167 villages inundated on the largest river island Majuli, reports Rahul Karmakar.

india Updated: Sep 03, 2008 00:51 IST

The flood situation in Assam remained grim on Tuesday, with 167 villages inundated on the largest river island Majuli. In 17 of the state’s 27 districts already under water, at least 15 are reported killed and over 20 lakh homeless.

In Majuli, the floods affected about 1.5 lakh people. With the floodwaters threatening to engulf fresh areas, the very existence of the island is under threat.

Meanwhile, the Brahmaputra and its tributaries are flowing above the danger levels in Dibrugarh, Sonitpur, Dhubri, Jorhat and Kamrup districts where NH-31 was breached, cutting off the northeast region from the rest of the country.

The Kaziranga National park is under floodwaters. A new born baby rhino was swept away on Sunday while trying to cross a river in Golaghat district even as two female rhinos died due to old age in the last two days, park director S.N. Buragohain said.

Meanwhile, various pressure groups and political parties have made Prime Minister Manmohan Singh —a Rajya Sabha member from Assam —their common target, particularly after his visit to Bihar last month.

“We empathise with the flood-affected people of Bihar, but this doesn't mean that the PM’s heart should bleed more for that state than for Assam, where the devastation is much worse,” said Asom Gana Parishad general secretary Dilip Kumar Saikia.

What incensed the All Assam Students Union and Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chhatra Parishad was the PM’s declaration of the Bihar floods as a “national calamity” and the subsequent Rs 1,000-crore relief package.

Chief minister Tarun Gogoi, meanwhile, said, “The PM has provided us a package that is much more than we expected.”