Centre planning second NDRF battalion for NE: Rijiju

Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju Saturday said that the central government is contemplating setting up a second unit of the NDRF in the northeast, which often witnesses natural disasters like floods and landslides.

IANS| Updated: Sep 27, 2014, 19:51 PM IST

Guwahati: Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju Saturday said that the central government is contemplating setting up a second unit of the NDRF in the northeast, which often witnesses natural disasters like floods and landslides.

He also said that Home Minister Rajnath Singh will visit the flood-hit areas of Assam and Meghalaya Oct 1 to assess the impact of the recent floods in the region.

He said this after making an aerial survey of the flood-hit districts of Assam and Garo Hills region of Meghalaya, where over 70 people have been killed by flash floods in the past one week and lakhs have been rendered homeless.

Interacting with the media at the Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport near Guwahati, Rijiju said: "There is a battalion of the National Disaster Rescue Force (NDRF) in Guwahati at present. Now, we have decided to set up another NDRF battalion in the northeast. However, the location where it will be set up is yet to be finalised."

He added: "Home Minister Rajnath Singh will visit Oct 1 to assess the devastation caused by the floods in Assam and Meghalaya."

He assured the people of the region that there would be no lack of efforts on the part of the central government to help the state governments in tackling the calamities.

The minister said 37 people have been killed in Assam due to the floods and landslides while over 40 people have died in Meghalaya.

Rijiju said: "I cannot make any announcement today as the prime minister is out of the country. However, I am assuring you that the central government will definitely make an announcement for tiding over the post-flood situation after the prime minister returns."

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has already sought a special package of Rs.1,000 crore to carry out relief and rehabilitation work in the flood-hit areas of the state.

Friday, Minister of State for Sports and Youth Affairs Sarbananda Sonowal had also visited the flooded areas of Goalpara and Kamrup districts in Assam.