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17 July 2017, 02:14 | Myron Mathis
Cattle move through floodwater at Hiloikhunda village in Darrang district of Assam
The toll from the current wave of floods in Assam rose to 60 after seven more deaths were reported on Saturday.
According to the evening flood bulletin of the Assam State Disaster Management Authority, the population affected by floods stood at 11.93 lakh in 24 districts, while around 24,000 people are taking shelter in 123 relief camps.
A day after angry protests by flood victims, who blocked the entry of a minister in the worst-hit Majuli district, Assam finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Saturday said that there was no dearth of funds and district administrations had been asked to provide relief generously to those affected.
At the Kaziranga National Park, 38 per cent of the area is under water, leaving some animals dead and some moving to nearby highlands.
In flood-hit Assam, as the situation is gradually improving, the Assam government has stepped up medical relief measures. Providing clean drinking water and fodder for cattle and domestic animals have also been ordered to the district authorities, he added. "We had provided relief money to the district deputy commissioners before the floods this year and we can provide money as sought by them". Further, all relevant departments have been asked to assess the extent of damage to infrastructure and submit their financial estimate by August 15 next, so that funds can be released and fix work can commence by September-October, the minister said. We have asked the respective departments to provide the project reports by August 15 so that work can start by September/October, he said. Unlike in the past, people no longer come to relief camps but prefer to stay back at home.
But the government dismissed the allegations, saying adequate resources are allotted for flood survivors and efforts are being made to save the marooned people and distribute relief quickly. The materials are not reaching these people, he admitted.
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