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Manmohan, Sonia to visit flood-hit Assam

Nature’s fury- Relief camps set up; rivers flow above danger mark

india Updated: Jul 02, 2012 07:49 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

With the current spell of floods and landslides claiming 77 lives in Assam, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi would visit some of the affected areas on Monday.

An official said 61 people died in floods and 16 in landslides. Six persons were reported missing.

The first wave of flood this year has hit all 27 districts in the state.

The Brahmaputra and the Kapili rivers are flowing above danger level at various places.

Singh and Gandhi are expected to reach Jorhat by a special flight and conduct an aerial survey of river-island Majuli in Brahmaputra, which has been the worst sufferer. From there, they will visit Guwahati and hold talks with ministers and senior state government officials before returning to Delhi.

The army, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the state’s disaster management authority have been pressed into action.

The NDRF has been deployed in 16 areas across nine districts. Seven teams of army personnel have been deployed in Barpeta, Dhemaji, Dima-Hasao, Sibsagar, Sonitpur and Tinsukia districts.

Air evacuation was held in Tinsukia and Sonitpur districts.

The state government has opened 768 relief camps for the flood-affected people.

Large segments of the Kaziranga national park remain under water. In Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, 80 per cent of the area inhabited by rhinos is under water.

Ulfa’s anti-talks faction has opposed the visit of Singh and Gandhi, but no bandh call has been given. In an e-mail statement to media houses sent by Ulfa publicity secretary Arunudoy Asom, the banned group said in view of the critical situation, the regular mode of protest by calling a statewide strike has been dropped.

Since 2010, Ulfa’s anti-talks faction has opposed the prime minister and UPA chairperson’s visit and called for a bandh.(With PTI inputs)

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