Annual tears of Assam – Lakhs of people affected in flood

Assam Flood - File Photo

By- Correspondent | Date- July 16, 2011

Year after year, the issue of flood in Assam is discussed in political talks revolving around the problems of the state. The central Government has agreed few years ago to Assam’s sorrow as a National Problem after being compelled by the All Assam Students Union (AASU) to do so with years of demand and protest. Yet Assam’s tears continue. The flood season in Assam has started.

Continuous rainfall during the last week in Assam has led to a serious threat with floods. Villages in North Lakhimpur and Dhemaji has been worst affected with all rivers flowing much above danger levels. Subansiri, Ranganadi, Dikrong, Baginadi, Pabha, Kakoi, Johing and other rivers have taken dangerous shape with their waters drowning hundreds of villages around.

Bridge on National Highway wiped away:

Flood waters have yesterday wiped away the western end bridge over Ranganadi River on the National Highway number 52. This bridge was recently constructed and was inaugurated just six months ago, which shows both the inefficiency of the making as well as the degree of devastation of flood. It is being accused that the construction company BK Constructions which had built this bridge had constructed it with faults and compromise on quality, with the length of the bridge being 50 meters less than what it should have been ideally. This ten crore project has been washed away in waters due to complete inefficiency of construction. Mentionable that hundreds of commuters and vehicles have been put on sudden halt due to this bridge being washed away, creating huge inconvenience and cutting off the region from the rest of the world.

NEEPCO accused of opening up waters from Ranganadi Hydroelectric site:

The locals have complained that North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO) has opened up the flood gates of its hydroelectric site to save the project site from devastation, which has led to sudden flash floods. It is being reported that NEEPCO opened up 4 of its 6 gates at around midnight and kept them open till early morning. Another gate was opened at morning 9 am till 3 pm in the afternoon.

The official response stated that NEEPCO had informed the district officials requesting opening of the flood gates and was given permission for partial opening. The locals have complained that this was done without any warning and the people of the area were completely caught off guard, leading huge devastation and loss of property and agriculture. As per the locals, it is the sudden rush of water current from the flood gates opened by NEEPCO that destroyed the bridge on the Ranganadi River.

Electric current in waters kills cattle

A huge number of animals including cattle have been reported to be killed already in the floods so far, which is set to create a huge loss for local farming communities. However the biggest concern was when 18 buffaloes were killed due electricity being transmitted in flood waters near Rupahi village of Dhalpur. It was known that a post of an 11KV line was wiped away by flood waters and the current in that line led to the death of the animals who was passing by. No human casualties however took place. The locals have highly criticized the Assam State Electricity officials for not taking precautionary measures in such cases when the high flowing flood waters threatened to bring down the loosely erected posts. Remuneration amounts are being claimed for the owner of these buffaloes Mukut Hazarika, Prashanta Hazarika and Bitu Hazarika who lived off farming and now has nothing left.

293 out of 423 earthen banks on Assam Rivers crossed expiry period!

As many as 293 out of 423 embankments on Assam Rivers to prevent floods have been reported to have crossed their expiry period. This means that these banks can break down anytime under pressure of the water currents, bringing a threat to millions of people living in the state.

Over one lakh affected and led homeless by floods in Lakhimpur and Dhemaji

In North Lakhimpur alone, 65,300 people have been said to have been affected by flood in 65 villages. This is the official figure and as it is being believed that the number would be much more. The number of people affected in Dhemaji is yet unknown. For sure the total number of affected is expected to be more than a lakh in the two districts alone. So far two deaths and five missing people have been reported.

The flood situation in Assam is expected to grow more threatening and grim. Relief and rescue operations are the need of the hour from both the Government and civil societies.

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