An inter-ministerial central team will visit flood-ravaged Sikkim from Sunday to assess the damage due to the natural calamity, Union Minister Ajay Kumar Mishra said.
Mr Mishra, the union minister of state for home affairs, arrived here on Saturday for a two-day visit to the Himalayan state.
He said the Centre has been monitoring the flood situation in Sikkim and assured the state administration of all necessary support and assistance.
Mr Mishra held a meeting with Chief Secretary V B Pathak and senior officials of the state government, army and other organisations.
“The Centre is closely monitoring the situation in Sikkim and all the necessary support and assistance for the state is underway,” Mr Mishra said.
Officials of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Border Roads Organisation (BRO), National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (NHIDC) and NHPC were also present at the meeting.
Mr Mishra also said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah are in constant touch with Chief Minster Prem Singh Tamang for rescue and relief work being carried out by the army and the state administrations.
An inter-ministerial team, comprising senior officers of five central ministries, namely agriculture, road transport & highways, water resources, energy and finance, will visit from Sunday to assess the damage caused by the flash flood, he said.
“The team will visit Sikkim from tomorrow to take stock of the ground situation, assess the extent of damage and provide assistance wherever necessary,” he said.
The Centre has approved the release of Rs 44.8 crore as an advance amount from the central share of the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) to Sikkim to provide relief to flash floods-affected people.
Mr Mishra said PM Modi stands in solidarity with the people of Sikkim and will leave no stone unturned to restore normalcy in the state.
He urged the state government officials to prepare short-term and long-term plans to effectively accomplish the task of rebuilding the damaged infrastructure in the shortest possible time.
The MoS also appealed to the people of the Himalayan state to take the situation as a challenge and overcome it with steadfast positivity so that life gets back to normal as soon as possible.
He lauded the tireless efforts of the chief minister to tide over the crisis.
The toll in the flash flood in Sikkim rose to 30 as four more bodies were found on Saturday, while 62 people, who were reported missing for the past three days, were found alive, a government agency said here.
The number of missing people thus came down to 81, the Sikkim State Disaster Management Authority (SSDMA) said in its latest bulletin on Saturday evening.
The flash flood triggered by a cloudburst in the early hours of Wednesday affected 41,870 people in four districts of the Himalayan state, with Mangan bearing the brunt of the calamity as a population of around 30,300 was hit by the disaster, it said.
The other three affected districts are Gangtok, Pakyang and Namchi.
Mr Mishra appreciated the efforts of the Sikkim administration, army, BRO, ITBP and all agencies for working in tandem with the state government to carry out rescue, relief and restoration work.
The chief secretary apprised the union minister of the sequence of events that led to the disaster.
He also informed the union minister about the extensive damage to roads and other vital infrastructure like telecommunication, water and electricity.
Pathak also presented a comprehensive summary of the steps being taken by the state government in active coordination with the army, NDRF, BRO, ITBP and all other agencies.
Mr Mishra called on Governor Lakshman Prasad Acharya at Raj Bhavan and assured him of all possible support to the state from the central government to overcome the crisis.
He is slated to meet the chief minister on Sunday.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by String Reveals staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)