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Assam floods killed 92 animals, including 7 rhinos: Environment minister Harsh Vardhan

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Assam tomorrow to discuss a permanent solution to the flood problem in the state every year.

india Updated: Jul 31, 2017 20:55 IST
HT Correspondent and PTI
HT Correspondent and PTI
HT Correspondent, New Delhi
Assam floods,Kaziranga National Park,Harsh Vardhan
One-horn rhinoceros take shelter at Kaziranga National Park, about 250 km east of Guwahati, on July 10. (AFP File Photo)

More than 90 animals, including seven rhinoceros, have died due to the flooding in the Kaziranga National Park in Assam, the government told Parliament on Monday.

The Assam floods have affected the Kaziranga National Park. Seven rhinos, 83 hog deer, and two sambar deer have died in the flooding, environment minister Harsh Vardhan said in a written reply.

The floods have so far claimed over 70 lives in the northeastern state.

More than 25 lakh have been affected by the floods in 29 districts. The administration set up 1,098 relief camps and distribution centres in the state.

Vardhan said based on the Annual Plan of Operations submitted by tiger reserves, the government provides funds to them under the centrally-sponsored scheme Project Tiger through the National Tiger Conservation Authority.

The funds are used for various activities, including for measures to address flood situation such as creation of highlands and preventive structures against erosion, boats, rescue of animals, desiltation and creation of road network, he said.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will pay an one-day visit to Assam Tuesday to discuss a permanent solution to the flood problem in the state every year.

“The prime minister’s visit is mainly to find a permanent solution to the flood problem that Assam is facing,” state Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on  Monday in Guwahati.

He will hold two series of discussions in the city during the day and will leave for Delhi in the evening, he added.

The first meeting will be with the council of ministers and state officials. After that, the prime minister will address a meeting of NDA legislatures from BJP, BPF and AGP,” Sarma said.

Asked about the state’s demand, Sarma said Assam has enough funds. “We still have Rs 324 crore of unspent money. Last year, the Centre had announced Rs 400 crore (for Assam), but did not send it because we had money,” he added.

Sarma, however, said the state government will submit a memorandum with some demands.

Earlier during the day, Congress leader and former chief minister Tarun Gogoi said Modi is paying a “token visit to the state only after facing severe criticism from all quarters as he visited Gujarat, but neglected Assam.”

The Centre has already announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each under the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund for the next of kin of people killed and Rs 50,000 to seriously injured persons in the recent flood in Assam.

First Published: Jul 31, 2017 20:55 IST