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Floods wreak havoc in Bihar and Assam; Army assures quick response

The Army has taken stock of the situation in both states and assured quick response if requisitioned for deployment in affected areas.

ET Online|
Jul 17, 2019, 12.22 PM IST
A villager leaves his house submerged in knee-deep floodwater following incessant monsoon rainfall, in Kamrup, Assam.
Raging flood waters battered Assam and parts of Bihar with the death toll in the two states mounting to 55 on Tuesday. In view of the worsening flood situation in eastern India, the Army has taken stock of the situation and assured quick response if requisitioned for deployment in affected areas.

Earlier today, Union Jal Shakti minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat reviewed the flood situation in Assam with chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal and assured all support to the state by the Centre to deal with the situation. The Centre has released RS 251.55 crore to the State Disaster Response Fund for management of disaster, he said.

Over 10 lakh animals have been affected in Assam. Almost 90 per cent of the Kaziranga National Park has been submerged and authorities are taking various measures, including speed restrictions on NH-37 which touches the park, to save animals as they head to higher ground to save themselves.

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar said on Tuesday that each flood affected family will be paid Rs 6,000 as gratuitous relief (GR) through the direct benefit transfer (DBT) method from Friday. He said the banks would not come into the picture, as the payment of GR money through them during the 2017 floods had got delayed. Flash floods in parts of Bihar has claimed lives of 25 people in the last few days.

According to Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), the Brahmaputra river and its tributaries are flowing above the danger level in most of the affected districts, including in Guwahati.

"In view of worsening flood situation in eastern region, Lieutenant General M M Naravane, General Officer Commanding in Chief, Eastern Command, took stock of the situation and assured a quick response by the Army on being requisitioned for deployment on flood relief tasks," the Army said in a statement.

A total of 95 flood relief columns along with additional 31 columns as reserve have been "kept on stand by" for this purpose, it said.

The Army is closely monitoring the flood situation in close coordination with civil administration.

"There are 152 monitoring stations which will ensure timely warning of an impending crisis due to floods," the statement said.

The Army has alerted flood relief columns to be prepared for deployment on short notice. Mock drills conducted by the nominated army units in the run-up to the monsoon will ensure seamless integration of all elements and their synergised application in support of the people, the statement said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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