GUWAHATI, Sept 9 - Floods and erosion caused extensive damage to Assam�s infrastructure this year and it will take quite some time and substantial amount of funds for repair works. Though the State government had submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister on August 1 detailing total assessment of the flood damage, the actual damage turned out to be much more as another wave of flood hit the State after the submission of the report.
Official sources told The Assam Tribune that all the departments concerned have been directed to submit the exact assessment of the flood damage with estimates of the funds that would be required for repair works by September 11. Following this, the State government is likely to approach the Centre seeking additional funds.
According to official records, as many as 159 people lost their lives in floods in the State this year. The State government provides ex gratia amount of Rs 4 lakh to the next of kin of those who died in floods, while Rs 2 lakh each is given from the Prime Minister�s relief fund. Sources said that so far the next of kin of 150 flood victims have received the ex gratia amount paid by the State government, while 84 received the money provided from the Prime Minister�s relief fund. The process is on to ensure that all the next of kin of the flood victims receive the money at the earliest.
Sources revealed that when a high level Central team visited the State to assess the flood damage on July 20, the State government submitted a memorandum giving an interim assessment of the damage to the tune of Rs 2,280 crore. When the Prime Minister visited the State on August 1, the State government gave an assessment of damage to the tune of Rs 3,888 crore. But now the actual damage is likely to be much more as another wave of floods hit the State after the Prime Minister�s visit.
Giving details of the assessment of flood damage, sources revealed that the floods and erosion caused extensive damage to roads and bridges. As many as 1,674 PWD roads were damaged, while 307 were breached. Altogether 70 bridges and more than 400 culverts were damaged, while 350 approaches to the bridges were washed away. It will take quite some time and substantial amount of funds to repair the damage to improve road communication in the State. The PWD is preparing an estimate for these repair works.
There were also 26 breaches in embankments across the State, which resulted in deterioration of the overall flood situation. These breaches would have to be plugged as soon as possible and some other old and damaged embankments will have to be strengthened during the coming winter season, sources added.
Sources said according to reports received from the elementary education department, eleven schools were completely damaged, while around a hundred school buildings were badly damaged. Moreover, some 2,000 school buildings were partially damaged and all those will have to be reconstructed or repaired as soon as possible to ensure that students are not affected academically. However, the State revenue department is yet to receive any report from the secondary education department.
The floods also affected the farmers hard as according to government records more than 3.98 lakh hectares of crop area was affected. Moreover, 3,800 houses were fully damaged and more than 26,000 were partially damaged. However, official sources admitted that the house damage figure is likely to go up as the assessments are now being made after the improvement of the overall flood situation.