PM Modi in Assam to review flood situation

He also announced Rs 50,000 each for those seriously injured in the floods in the state, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said. "The Rs 250 crore announced today was in addition to the amount released in June", he said.

Modi arrived in Guwahati at 10 am for a day-long review of the flood and landslide problems that crippled the five northeastern states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi may trigger a rejig of his cabinet in mid-August in which he may drop some of the non-performers from his team and include new faces.

Badruddin Ajmal, Lok Sabha member and chief of All India United Democratic Front, hoped Modi would declare the floods in Assam a "national calamity" and announce a financial assistance of at least Rs 20,000-crore.

The floods in the region have badly affected over 30 lakh people in 29 districts of Assam this year.

Rs. 400 crore will be provided for improving the water holding capacity of the Brahmaputra River, which will assist in flood control.

"Mother Nature gives us life and nurtures us, but at times natural catastrophes such as floods and earthquakes wreak havoc on a massive scale", PM Modi said in his monthly radio address to the nation on Sunday. But over 40,000 families, exclusively dependent on their paddy fields, are left with a thick layer of sand that the flood waters deposited, rendering them uncultivable for 10 to 15 years.

The prime minister is expected to visit Assam tomorrow to get a first-hand assessment of the flood situation.

Modi held a series of review meetings with Assam Governor Banwarilal Purohit, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Union minister Jitendra Singh. The state's principal secretary (relief and disaster management) MH Khan said the floods killed 19 people, damaged 85,226 hectares of agricultural land, 19,095 houses, 421 government infrastructure including 128 schools, 43 bridges and 35 market sheds.

"We have assessed our damage and it is Rs 700 crore".

In Assam, as many as 79 people lost their lives in the devastating floods, eight of them in Guwahati.

Vanessa Coleman

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