(FILES) In this photograph taken on September 26, 2012 an endangered one horned rhinoceros swims through flood waters at the Kaziranga National Park about 250 kilometers east of Guwahati. Hundreds of rare rhinos and other animals are fleeing flooding in India's northeast, raising fears of a rise in poaching during the exodus, a senior wildlife official said August 25.   AFP PHOTO/ Biju BORO / FILES
(FILES) In this photograph taken on September 26, 2012 an endangered one horned rhinoceros swims through flood waters at the Kaziranga National Park about 250 kilometers east of Guwahati. Hundreds of rare rhinos and other animals are fleeing flooding in India's northeast, raising fears of a rise in poaching during the exodus, a senior wildlife official said August 25. AFP PHOTO/ Biju BORO / FILES

New Delhi: The Centre has assured all possible support for flood-ravaged Assam, and rescue and relief operations have been intensified in several districts of the state. DoNER Minister Jitendra Singh undertook an aerial survey of the flood-hit areas of the state recently and visited relief camps. Singh was accompanied by senior officials of National Disaster Response Force.

In Bongaigaon, he visited a relief camp and interacted with locals to take stock of the situation. He assured that the centre will provide all possible assistance to the state to help in relief and rehabilitation work and announced the advance release of second installment of the central share of State Disaster Relief Fund amounting to approximately Rs.207 crore.

“The Centre is absolutely in cognizance of the developments over here and is pretty much concerned. The Prime Minister and the Home Minister are taking personal interest in the rescue and relief work in flood-hit areas of Assam. That was the reason that they deputed us to be here to have an on-the-spot assessment of the relief and rescue operations that were going on so that we could go back and report to them and also get whatever further assistance is required,” Singh said.

Floods triggered by heavy rains have wreaked havoc in more than 900 villages in 11 districts of Assam, affecting over eight lakh people. The deluge has washed away homes, crops and livestock and thousands of hectares of agricultural lands. The worst affected districts include Kokrajhar, Dhubri, Bongaigaon, Tinsukia, Jorhat and Dhemaji.

People are taking shelter in relief camps set up by the state government and other organizations in different places. Paresh Tai, a resident, said, “Nearly 800 people are stranded here. Since there are no boats available, people can’t move out of their houses. We have requested the deputy commissioner to ensure that these stranded villagers are moved out to safer places.”

Torrential rain in the region has also posed a threat to the Kaziranga National Park, which has been inundated by the overflowing waters of Brahmaputra. The government and forest department are taking all possible measures to ensure the safe passage of animals by erecting barricades and signboards on the highways.

Mukul Tamuly, Range Officer, Kaziranga National Park, said, “About 70 per cent of area in Kaziranga is under flood water. Animals are crossing the NH37 towards the foothills of the Karbi Anglong hills. District Administration has promulgated Section 144 of CRPC from Bokaghat till Holiabor. We have installed barricades to control the movement of vehicles.” With the water levels in the rivers receding gradually, all possible efforts are now being made to reach out to the affected people and rehabilitate them.

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