Assam remained in the grip of floods as four more deaths were reported on Thursday, with the governor stressing on the need to find a permanent solution to the perennial problem, saying tackling it annually "will not suffice". A total of 28.32 lakh people in 26 of the state's 33 districts have been affected by the deluge, a government report said.
Governor Jagdish Mukhi conducted an aerial survey of the flood-hit areas and said he would request the Centre to find a permanent solution to the problems of flood and erosion in the state.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal also visited the areas affected by the deluge in Darrang and Kamrup districts.
One person each died at Bongaigaon, Kokrajhar, Morigaon and Golaghat districts, the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) said in a bulletin.
The number of people who have lost their lives in floods and landslides in the northeastern state this year has gone up to 119. While 93 of them died in flood-related incidents, 26 were killed in landslides.
The ASDMA said the number of affected people rose by over two lakh since Wednesday, though that of the flood-hit districts remained at 26.
The district administrations have set up 456 relief camps and distribution centres in 20 districts, where 47,213 people have taken shelter, the bulletin said.
Nearly 1.19 lakh hectares of crop area have been damaged across Assam, it added.
The Brahmaputra river is flowing above the danger mark at Dibrugarh, Dhubri and Goalpara cities, besides at Neamatighat in Jorhat and Tezpur in Sonitpur districts.
Its tributaries -- the Dhansiri, Jia Bharali, Kopili, Beki, Kushiyara and Sankosh -- are also flowing above the danger level at various places, the bulletin said.
The governor, in a statement, said every year, the flood and its resultant effect on land cause widespread erosion and take a toll on the socio-economic condition of the state.
"Taking on the problem annually will not suffice and therefore, I would recommend and reach out to the Centre for its help to find out a permanent and scientific solution to this perennial problem," he added.
After the aerial survey of the flood-hit areas of Baksa, Chirang, Bongaigaon, Kokrajhar, Goalpara, Dhubri and Udalguri districts, Mukhi asked the state government to reach out to every affected person and ensure that nobody goes hungry.
Though rivers such as the Brahmaputra, Dhansiri, Jia Bharali, Kopili and Beki are the lifelines for the people of Assam, they need to be tamed during the monsoon season and for that, a long-term, exhaustive study is required, the governor said.
He also asked the state government to ensure the safety of animals and provide food to those taking refuge on high lands.
The ASDMA said 123 animals have died in the flood-affected Kaziranga National Park and 150 have been rescued.
As the state is battling against the twin problems of flood and COVID-19, Mukhi said in this extraordinary situation, every effort is being made to reach out to people to ensure that they adhere to all safety protocols so that the contagion does not spread.
Meanwhile, Sonowal visited Rangia in Kamrup district, where he interacted with the inmates of a relief camp and took stock of the situation.
The chief minister said the current wave of flood has severely affected several districts and claimed the lives of many people.
He said the state is simultaneously battling against COVID-19, flood, erosion, storm, landslides and the Baghjan gas-well fire.
Sonowal said the government would not tolerate anomalies in flood relief operations, adding that strong punitive action would be taken against those indulging in corrupt practices.
The chief minister also visited the flood-hit areas of Darrang district.