Congress accuses Modi government of ‘sleeping’ over flood situation

New Delhi, (IANS): The Congress on Monday said around 300 people had died in floods in different parts of the country and accused the Modi government of “sleeping over” a human tragedy of gigantic proportions.

Talking to the media here, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said the flood situation in the country was “alarming” and about one crore (ten million) people had been affected.

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He said the government was making perfunctory statements and has provided “little relief” after aerial surveys.

“An insipid BJP government sleeps over a human tragedy of gigantic proportions from east to west India,” Azad said.

Azad, who is Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, said 82 people have died in Assam and two waves of floods in the state has affected over 25 lakh people in 29 districts.

Azad said at least 1,40,000 people have been displaced and at least 26,000 houses have been damaged. He said vulnerable wildlife species were under threat and 80 per cent of Kaziranga National Park was under water with 218 animals and 17 rhinos having drowned.

He said the Comptroller and Auditor General report had found a 60 per cent shortfall in release of central funds to some northeastern states for flood management schemes.

The Congress leader said that over two lakh hectares of crop area has been affected in the state with large tracks suffering severe damage and 200 schools are not in a position to conduct classes.

Azad said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has not visited Assam so far and the money provided by the central government for rescue and relief work was grossly inadequate.

Referring to Gujarat, he said 128 deaths had taken place in the state with Banaskantha district accounting for 49, including 17 from one family.

Azad said 200 villages were without electricity and 945 roads, including five national highways and 31 state highways, had been damaged.

He said about 80,000 people had been evacuated and many were still waiting to be rescued. Taking a dig at the Modi government, he said they were “more interested in hijacking opposition MLAs than providing flood relief”.

The Congress has witnessed defections in Gujarat ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections next month.

Azad said Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani visited the flood-affected areas of Banaskantha “five days after” the district witnessed damage to property and loss of life.

He said Modi had done a perfunctory aerial survey of the flood affected areas in the state.

Referring to Rajasthan, Azad said that 16 people have been killed in rain-related incidents and 12,000 people had been relocated to Jalore, Sirohi, Pali and Barmer districts.

Azad said four persons, including a father and son, have been killed in rain-related incidents in Himachal Pradesh, where several roads are blocked due to landslides.

Referring to West Bengal, he said floods have claimed at least 31 lives in the last 10 days and nearly 45,000 people had taken shelter in more than 2,000 relief camps set up in the flood-hit districts.

Azad said in Jammu and Kashmir, flash floods had wreaked havoc in Thathri town of Doda district inundating vast areas along the Batote-Kishtwar National Highway and washing away half a dozen houses.

Azad said at least 11 people had been killed in Odisha in lightning-related incidents, while 3,000 families and 27,000 livestock were affected in Manipur floods.

Azad said Mizoram faces the worst floods in 50 years and Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland had also been affected.

Referring to Jharkhand, he said eight people had been killed due to heavy rains in the state.