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Flood fury claims 17 lives in Assam

K Anurag in Guwahati | September 05, 2008 23:31 IST

Floods in Assam have claimed 17 lives even as the state of rivers continues to reel under the year's third and most devastating wave of flood that has inundated vast areas spread over 13 districts.

The worst-affected area is the world's largest inhabited river island, Majuli. Ninety-five per cent landmass of the river island, having an approximate area of 450 square km, is now under flood waters of Brahmaputra and its tributary Subansiri.

Over 1.7 lakh people out of the total population of 1.8 lakh in the river island are affected by probably the worst ever flood in its history.

All roads, government offices, educational institutions in the river island having a sizeable Mishing tribe population have been deluged. With mobile phone network in the river island being rendered out of service by the flood fury, police wireless network remains the only way of communication to orchestrate flood relief and rescue operations there.

The river island has been a contender for world heritage tag for being the centre of neo-Vaishnava religion and culture in the state. Almost all vaishnava monasteries along the river island are now fighting flood fury for their survival.

Over 12 lakh people are suffering due to the flood that has so far inundated 1.35 lakh hectares of cropped land in Assam.

Over 35,000 people, who have been rendered homeless by the floods, are now lodged in 189 government-run relief camps.

Opposition political parties in the state and other social organizations, students and youth bodies have flayed the Central government for not providing a special Bihar-like flood relief package to Assam at its time of extreme distress.

However, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said there was no immediate requirement for fresh Central relief at this point of time as the state had a corpus of Rs 700 crore for flood relief that  had been earlier given by New Delhi [Images].

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