In a letter dated July 26, Gogoi wrote, “I am writing this letter with regard to the catastrophic floods ravaging Assam, and, immediate and long-term solution in reference thereto. Rising global temperature is increasing instances of flash floods in Assam affecting biodiversity as well as infrastructure.”
He wrote, “8% of land has been eroded since 1950 and erosion is still increasing due to heavy water flow, widening the Brahmaputra Around 3000 wetlands act as reservoirs for excess water in Assam, but encroachment and destruction of them have prevented the absorption of the overflow causing more floods Each day is a battle for survival in the state during monsoon.”
The son of former Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, Gaurav highlighted in the letter that Gujarat had received Rs 1,000 crores from the NDRF in advance during 2021-22 in the aftermath of cyclone Tauktae, while Rs 600 crores were immediately released for relief work after floods in Madhya Pradesh.
Gogoi wrote in the letter, “The state of Assam is facing one of its worst floods this year, affecting more than 20 lakh people. Over 5 lakh children are affected, more than 60,000 residing in relief camps. Reports suggest massive loss of shelter, basic amenities and essentials. More than a 100 deaths are also recorded. In light of this grim reality, when we are paying in human lives every day, I urge you to visit the state and announce financial aid for the affected.”
The Congress leader further wrote, “No funds have been announced under NDRF for the state of Assam yet. However, it is not unprecedented to allocate funds from NDRF to flood relief and I urge you to conduct an Inter-Ministerial Central Team (IMCT) assessment for release of funds under NDRF urgently During cyclone Tauktae in Gujarat (2021-2022), financial assistance of Rs 1000 crores for immediate relief was announced and released in advance from NDRF, also, Rs 600 crores have been disbursed from NDRF for floods in Madhya Pradesh (2021-2022).”
“In light of these precedents, I request you to take Assam's plight into account and either disburse funds from NDRF or announce an independent financial relief package for the state at the earliest,” he added.
“Additionally, I urge you to build a tenable framework for long-term solutions for floods in Assam, as also suggested by the Standing Committee on Water Resources in 2021. Firstly, funds for long-term erosion management must be released to vulnerable areas, especially Lewramukh, Borghuli, Muwamari, Taatikata. Flood plain zoning in the state should be incentivised as a priority by the government. River erosion should be included in the admissible list of calamities for availing assistance under NDRF and SDRF, and appropriate bodies such as River Basin Organisations should be set up. It is also necessary to fill vacancies in the Brahmaputra Board for effective administration,” wrote Gogoi in the letter to Amit Shah.
Gogoi further requested the Union home minister to visit Assam and take stock of the flood situation and provide relief accordingly.
“Therefore, I request you to kindly intervene in the matter, visit the state and provide immediate relief to the lakhs of people affected by the calamity,” he concluded.