The Assam government will set up a “Flood and Erosion Protection Authority” with a Rs 1,000-crore corpus to strengthen existing embankments and replace the ones that have outlived their utility with new ones.
Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said the new authority would be in addition to the proposed Brahmaputra Valley River Authority. “The new authority will take up long term anti-erosion measures, including dredging of the tributaries of the Brahmaputra river to minimise the impact of floods and erosion,” he stated.
The situation is still critical in the state and worsened in Barpeta district, south of Guwahati, as water level rose during the last 24 hours.
As the Brahmaputra is flowing 2.72 metres above danger level, fresh areas of Barpeta were inundated, taking the number of villages affected to 300 with more than five lakh people affected.
In its latest report released in the evening, the State Disaster Management Authority said more than 13 lakh people across 19 districts were affected by the latest floods. Two more deaths were reported from Sivasagar, taking the toll to 14. The total crop area affected by flood so far is 1,18,131 hectares, the report said.
In the wake of water-borne diseases, the state government is rushing medical teams to Dhemaji and Lakhimpur districts, officials at the Secretariat said here. Animals affected
Animals in national parks across the state have also borne the brunt of the floods. Though water level is receding in Kaziranga National Park, 114 anti-poaching camps are affected.
According to the DFO, Bokakhat, an adult rhino drowned in floodwater under Western Range, Bagori. A hog deer also drowned and a wild boar was killed in a road accident. In Rajiv Gandhi Orang National Park, the report said, 40 per cent of the park area and 20 camps are still affected even as waters receded.
In Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, 55 per cent of the area was affected. No animal casualties were reported in both the parks.
Earlier, Gogoi undertook an aerial survey of the flood-hit Dhemaji, Lakhimpur districts alongwith Majuli subdivision under Jorhat district. The survey covered Bamungaon, Sisirgaon, Duerighat and Rekha Chapori in Dhemaji district and Bihpuria, Narayanpur, Panigaon and Naobaicha in Lakhimpur district apart from Majuli subdivision.
Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal also visited the flood-affected districts of Upper Assam. He said, BJP MPs from Assam had asked the Union Water Resources Ministry to come up with a cohesive flood and erosion protection plan for Assam in a time-bound implementation programme.