From our Correspondent
SILCHAR, July 8: Though the government has sanctioned funds for the relief measures during the recent floods in Barak Valley, the victims continue to live in miserable condition. A visit to the relief camps by this scribe has brought out the fact that the materials and succor meant for the affected people have hardly reached them. Even if it has, the quantity has been quite negligible. This time Assam has been hit by worst floods, rendering nearly 22 lakh people homeless. The Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh sanctioned Rs 500 crore for the relief operations. The State Government led by Tarun Gogoi sent his cabinet ministers to monitor the relief and rescue operations in different parts of the State. Notwithstanding all the claims and efforts from the Government, the scenario of the relief operations remains not so happy.
The flood victims of the Sonabarighat part II area under Sonai constituency, 10 km from here, complained that they have not received any relief from the Government. Rahmat Ali (40), said that no materials have been distributed to them. “We have not received any aid from the Government. We have been suffering but no one is here to take care of, even our elected representative is no where to be seen,” Rahmat added. Sajala Begum (36), also echoed him and said they were deprived of minimum help. “We have come to know from different sources that the government has sanctioned a lot of money, but we are yet to receive anything,” she said. Sajala asked where has the sanctioned money gone?
The district administration on the other hand claimed they had distributed ample food materials to the affected people across the district. It can be recollected that Ardhendu Dey, Minister of Irrigation, during his visit to Barak Valley to monitor the relief and rescue operations, claimed that a total of 1222.526 quintals rice, 227.767 quintals dal and 66.611 quintals salt besides 26,300 packets of purifying drinking water had been distributed to the affected people by the administration. He also said that the seven medical teams that included doctors, nurses and paramedical staff were deployed in the affected areas of the district.
Manir Uddin (37), said, “Many of us have been suffering from fever for the last few days. But we do not have money to buy the medicines.” Kamrul Islam expressed his disappointment at the Government and said that maximum of them had been under the attack of different ailments like stomach disorder, cough, chest-pain, vomiting, but “no medical team has visited us”.
Many of them denied they had been supplied drinking water. Rather, they had to collect drinking water from the polluted Barak River. Ramala Begum (28), said, “To think of portable purifying drinking water here is a distant dream. We have not received even basic need.” They also denied having received water purifiers from the administration.
However, as part of the philanthropical mission, People’s Science Society, a non governmental organization, distributed today 200 packets of water purifier among the 65 affected families of the area, who are now residing on the embankment of Barak river.
Hillol Bhattacharjee, vice president of the organization, said that the people of the area had been passing through difficult days having lost their houses and household materials. He added to say that different diseases had gripped them as they were staying at unhygienic places. Bhattacharjee assured the affected people that his organization would organize a free medical camp very soon.
Other members of the organization who visited the flood victims on the embankment included Rahul Roy, Nilratan Bhattacharjee, Sufia Begum, Geeta Das, Pritam Chakraborty, Rajen Dey, Prasanta Singha.