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Floods claim 4 more lives, State death toll 93


GUWAHATI, July 23 - The overall flood situation in Assam deteriorated further on Thursday even as four more lives were lost due to the deluge taking the death toll in the State this year to 93. The four new fatalities have been reported from the districts of Bongaigaon, Kokrajhar, Morigaon and Golaghat, while the number of flood-hit people in the State swelled to over 28 lakh with several new habitations being inundated.

Governor Jagdish Mukhi undertook an aerial survey of the flood affected areas on Thursday and said that he would recommend to the Centre for finding out a permanent solution to the flood and erosion problem of the State.

�My experience over the last three years as the Governor of the State convinced me that every year flood creates havoc leaving people, animal and the physical infrastructures in tatters. Therefore, taking on the problem annually will not suffice,� he said after the aerial survey of floods in seven lower Assam districts.

According to the ASDMA, 26 districts � Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Sonitpur, Biswanath, Darrang, Baksa, Nalbari, Barpeta, Chirang, Bongaigaon, Kokrajhar, Dhubri, South Salmara, Goalpara, Kamrup, Kamrup (Metro), Morigaon, Nagaon, Golaghat, Jorhat, Majuli, Sivasagar, Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, West Karbi Anglong and Cachar � are still under flood waters, affecting 28,32,410 people in 2,643 villages under 74 revenue circles.

Among the affected people, 47,213 are taking shelter in 456 relief camps across the State.

As many as 152 forest camps in Kaziranga National Park, 19 camps in Orang National Park and three camps in Tinsukia Wildlife Division also got affected in floods.

The Brahmaputra and most of its tributaries in the State have been flowing above the danger level. In the past 24 hours, flood waters have damaged a number of embankments in Kokrajhar district along with several roads in Jorhat, Dhubri, Kokrajhar, Nalbari, Barpeta, Bongaigaon, South Salmara, Morigaon and Golaghat districts. Incidents of flood-triggered erosion have also been reported from several districts.

Meanwhile, addressing a press conference here on Thursday, Agriculture Minister Atul Bora said that up to July 22, floods affected altogether 9,95,260 farm families of Assam and submerged 75,607 hectares of summer paddy, 8,089 hectares of autumn paddy and 82,322 hectares of winter paddy cultivation.

Flood waters further damaged 7,122 hectares of summer maize, 122 hectares of rabi maize, 106 hectares of oil seeds, 4,963 hectares of summer pulse, 38,142 hectares of jute and mesta, 1,186 hectares of sugarcane, 19,777 hectares of kharif vegetables, 300 hectares of spices, 998 hectares of fruit and plantation crops and 18,627 hectares of other crops cultivation.

Bora informed that in such a critical time, the agriculture department has allocated Rs 9 crore under the Remunerative Approach for Agriculture and Allied Sector Rejuvenation Scheme for raising community nursery through which 58,710 farmers will be benefitted in the coming days.

Flood waters also affected 22,33,850 livestock and 14,39,318 poultry so far and claimed lives of 331 livestock. To assist farmers in the time of distress, the veterinary department is running 832 veterinary camps in the flood-affected areas.

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