As per preliminary assessment done by state government agencies, Assam would need around Rs 2,500 crore “as immediate fund requirement” for restoration of infrastructure damaged by floods.
This year’s flood has been the worst in Assam since 2004 and caused severe damage to state’s infrastructure and agricultural crop. Government sources informed that as per the preliminary assessment, over 2,667 roads have been affected, including damage to bridges and culvers by the floods. Several national highways were submerged and developed potholes or were affected by landslides. There were 43 breaches of embankments of rivers, including river Brahmaputra. The crucial rail link between Lumding and Badarpur, which is also the lifeline for Tripura, suffered extensive damage due to landslides at various locations. The rail track had been washed away at 23 critical Iocations, one tunnel had collapsed, besides damage to several bridges. The rail operation is currently under suspension. Also, extensive damage has been caused to schools and other educational institution, though that is yet to be assessed.
The official said around Rs 600 crore would be just required to build or repair damaged roads and bridges in coming days. In addition, another 80 crore would be required to repair the national highways.
Further he said the assessment of damage to houses has been initiated, following which, rehabilitation grant for partially and fully damaged houses will be sanctioned.
Agriculture department has finalised a scheme for distribution of seeds and preparing community nurseries for raising seedlings for distribution to affected farmers.
Another Rs 100 crore would be required for “immediate restoration and temporary closing” of the 43 breaches of embankments of various rivers.
Floods are a recurring phenomenon in Assam as 45 per cent of its area is prone to floods. River bank erosion during the high flood period in Brahmaputra and Barak Valleys is a recurrent feature in Assam. Approximately 8000 hectares of land is eroded every year and the state has lost over 4.30 lakh hectares of land since 1954 due to river bank erosion.
The death toll due to floods has touched 79 and another 16 died due to landslides this year.
Around 4,83,536 hectare land area came under the grip of floodwaters. Though there has been gradual improvement in the flood scenario since Monday, still around 2.5 lakh people are taking shelters at 551 relief camps spread across the state. A massive relief operation is underway in all the districts.
The number of people in relief camps is expected to decline in some districts in coming days, but in the low-lying areas of districts like Morigaon and Barpeta the floodwaters may take 8-10 days to recede, said government sources.