GUWAHATI, May 17: A review meeting was held at the chief secretary’s conference hall on Tuesday for stocktaking of the current situation in Dima Hasao, Hojai, Cachar and other Barak Valley districts in the state affected due to severe flood and landslide since the last few days. Pressing issues that have been discussed in the meeting were maintenance of supplies of essential food items to the affected districts especially Dima Hasao, reopening of the national highway connected to the affected districts, uninterrupted electricity supply and maintaining the communication network (voice & data).
Addressing to the present challenges, chief secretary of Assam, Jishnu Barua took a series of important decisions, which included requesting the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) to restore the road connectivity from Guwahati to Haflong with immediate effect so that supplies and other essential commodities can be sent to the Dima Hasao district. A similar request was made to the Indian Air Force (IAF) to airdrop the most essential supplies like rice, daal, and medicines to Dima Hasao district by Wednesday.
The IAF was also requested to rescue the 35 stranded railway employees and their families along with left out passengers at the New Haflong railway station.
Dima Hasao deputy commissioner was asked to supply 200 L of fuel to the BSNL Authority immediately at Duiyang Microwave Station for restoring the communication network.
Further, Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) will also use the services of drones/satellite data to ascertain the loss and damage data of the district.
The rescue operation of the stranded people and supply of relief materials has been started through 20 rubber boats with the help of SDRF and Army in Hojai district.
DCs of Hojai, Karimganj and Cachar districts were instructed to have regular meetings with the Chamber of Commerce, Suppliers and merchants for the smooth maintenance of supplies.
However, connectivity remains an issue due to multiple landslides in the Guwahati-Silchar road via Meghalaya. The Cachar DC was also assured to resolve the issue of air fare hike with the help of Assam Tourism Development Corporation (ATDC).
Following the review meeting, the CS also had a video conference with all the DCs of the state on flood preparedness. As per the daily flood data, 4,03,352 populations in 26 districts have been affected in the last 24 hrs in the state. 89 relief camps and relief distribution centers have been open in all affected areas. A total of 39,558 inmates are staying in these relief camps. Till the filing of this report, 8 human lives (3 in flood, 5 in landslide) were lost.
The review meeting was also attended by Biswa Ranjan Samal, IAS, addl chief secretary to the govt of Assam; Niraj Verma, IAS, principal secretary, govt of Assam; G D Tripathi, IAS, commissioner & secretary, Revenue & DM Dept; Rakesh Kumar, IAS, MD, APDCL and key stakeholders from IAF, NHAI, Indian Army, NDRF, SDRF, FCI, NHIDCL, NF Railway, district administration, Kamrup Metro, Food & Civil Supply, PWD (Roads), BSNL and ASDMA officials.