GUWAHATI, June 20: Union Home minister Amit Shah on Monday called up Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma twice, first to enquire about the flood situation and later to inform him that a central team will soon visit the state to assess the damage caused by the deluge.
The northeastern state is reeling under devastating floods in the last one week, affecting nearly 47 lakh people in 32 districts. A total of 73 people have died in this year’s floods and landslides in Assam so far.
“Hon HM Shri @AmitShah ji called twice this morning to enquire about the flood situation in Assam. He informed that a team of officials shall soon be sent by the Ministry of Home Affairs to assess the damages caused by the natural calamity. Grateful to HM for his help,” Sarma tweeted.
The CMO sources said that Shah’s first call was to enquire about the flood situation and the second to inform the chief minister that a Central team will soon be sent to the state for damage assessment.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also called up the Assam chief minister on Saturday to enquire about the situation and assured him of all possible help from the Centre.
Meanwhile, Sarma held a virtual meeting with state ministers, senior officials and deputy commissioners in the districts to review the flood situation.
He directed them to accord top priority to rescue and relief operations.
Sarma asked the DCs to take the help of Indian Air Force (IAF) to airdrop relief materials in areas where NDRF or SDRF boats have not been able to reach so far.
He said IAF has assured the state government of offloading petroleum and diesel in severely-affected areas.
Sarma said relief and rescue operations in Barak Valley will be bolstered by roping in additional NDRF teams from the neighbouring states of Manipur and Tripura.
The chief minister also asked the guardian ministers along with concerned secretaries to remain in their districts to oversee rescue, relief and rehabilitation works.
Besides the physical presence of his cabinet colleagues namely Water Resources minister Pijush Hazarika, Education minister Ranoj Pegu, NDRF and SDRF personnel, other guardian ministers during the VC, agencies like Air Force, Railway and other functionaries from the line departments joined the VC.
The chief minister said he was in touch with his Meghalaya counterpart for restoration of vehicular traffic on the Jowai-Badarpur road that has been badly damaged due to floods and landslides.
Meanwhile, North East Frontier Railways (NFR) has said that trains carrying relief, including petroleum and diesel and medical aid, will be sent to the affected areas.