No Reprieve from Assam Flood Situation, Over 24 Lakh Affected


Nava Thakuria

Guwahati: The flood situation in Assam remains grim as incessant rainfall continues, affecting over 2.4 million people in 30 districts. The second wave of flooding in Assam has inundated over 2,200 villages, forcing thousands of families to take shelter in 700 relief camps set up by the administration. According to the State Disaster Management Authority, at least 64 people have died due to the natural disaster, along with landslides and storms, which have also destroyed numerous embankments, roads, bridges, and other infrastructures. The muddy floodwaters have submerged more than 63,000 hectares of crop area, and the deluge has devastated 850,000 livestock and poultry in the State.

Besides Assam, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Meghalaya, and Mizoram are also experiencing relentless rains and subsequent floods for more than a week. Residents of Lakhimpur, Darrang, Golaghat, Barpeta, Bongaigaon, Biswanath, Cachar, Charaideo, Chirang, Dhemaji, Dibrugarh, Jorhat, Kamrup & Kamrup (Metropolitan), Karbi Anglong, Karimganj, Hailakandi, Kokrajhar, Majuli, Morigaon, Nagaon, Hojai, Nalbari, Sivasagar, Sonitpur, Tamulpur, Tinsukia, Udalguri, Dhubri, and Goalpara districts of Assam are facing major flood-related difficulties in the last few days.

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma is visiting flood-affected areas in different parts of the State to review the ground situation. Sarma visited Dibrugarh district on Friday to assess the situation in urban areas and some outskirt localities. He also visited several relief camps, interacted with the families taking shelter there, and directed the district administration to ensure the timely supply of essential items in the relief camps. Earlier, Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal also assessed the flood situation in Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districts and assured the people that both the governments in New Delhi and Dispur are seeking a permanent solution to the region’s recurring flood problem.

Assam Governor Gulab Chand Kataria visited the flood-affected Morigaon district and spent time with the flood-hit people of Bhuragaon village. He directed the district administration to reach out to the flood victims with proper relief materials, including medical facilities. Sarma earlier visited Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve to assess flood preparedness at the world heritage site. No less than 173 forest camps inside the park have been submerged by floodwaters from the mighty Brahmaputra river on the northern side. Over 75 wild animals, including a rhino calf, drowned in Kaziranga, while 94 animals were rescued by the authorities.

The safe habitat for the largest population of single-horn rhinos in the world experiences flooding every year, prompting the precious animals to cross National Highway-715 on its southern border to climb the hilly areas of Karbi Anglong. As many animals die while crossing the highway due to speeding vehicles, authorities instruct drivers to maintain a safe speed limit. Often, vehicles are escorted by forest officials while crossing the park to avoid accidents with fleeing animals.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already assured full cooperation to the State government to deal with the natural disaster. Union Home Minister Amit Shah also called Sarma to reassure all possible support from the Centre. Sarma has directed State ministers, legislators, and concerned officials to monitor the situation closely and take necessary initiatives urgently. State ministers, including Pijush Hazarika, Bimal Bora, Ranoj Pegu, Jayanta Mallaburuah, Jogen Mahan, Atul Bora, Keshav Mahanta, and Ranjeet Kumar Dass, have visited the affected villages and reviewed the rescue and relief operations.

(Nava Thakuria is a senior Indian journalist who contributes to various media outlets including print and digital platforms of India and across the world.)

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