Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju on Sunday could not conduct the aerial survey to assess the flood and landslides-hit areas in Nagaland where 10 people have been killed and lakhs affected due to inclement weather.
Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio and central and state government officials boarded an Mi17 Indian Air Force helicopter from Dimapur airport to assess the damages in Kiphire district bordering Myanmar and Nagaland state capital Kohima.
They were also to inspect the Doyang hydro-electric project in Wokha developed by North Eastern Electric Power Corp Ltd to see the rise of water level which has been affecting downstream including Assam’s Golaghat district.
However, a few minutes after taking off, the entourage returned to Dimapur airport as it could not land in Kohima due to bad weather condition.
"The aerial survey was called off as the helicopter could not land in Kohima due to bad weather but the Chief Minister along with the Nagaland State Disaster Management Authority has briefed the Union Minister of the disaster," Chief Secretary Temjem Toy told IANS.
Toy said the Union Minister was shown visual and photographic presentation of the massive damages across Nagaland caused due to erratic nature of rainfall and the situational report of the most severely hit districts.
Promising Chief Minister Rio all possible help from the Home and Defence Ministries, Rijiju said that an Internal Ministerial team would be sent to Nagaland within a week to prepare a correct projection of the financial requirement.
"Very soon we will send the team to Nagaland and once they submit the report, relief would be released immediately," Rijiju said.
Expressing concern that basic commodities must reach the far flung areas, Rijiju said that Indian Air Force would be kept on standby to aid the state.
He was visibly surprised to learn about the magnitude of devastation in Nagaland’s capital Kohima.
"This is one of the worst natural disasters Nagaland has witnessed. Ten people have died and lakhs have been affected. My government is making all efforts to reach out to every affected family," Rio told IANS over phone.
He said that he had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking immediate help to tackle the crisis.
"We have briefed Rijiju and showed him photographs of the landslides and affected people. We are hopeful that the central government will extend all its help to the state," the Chief Minister said.
Rio also requested the Minister of State to grant ex-gratia to the 10 who died. He said the ruling People’s Democratic Alliance members have decided to contribute one month’s salary and all party workers will give voluntary donations to manage the immediate requirements.
The Chief Minister also sought voluntary contributions from all government servants.>