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Breached Embankments

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  20 Jun 2015 12:00 AM GMT

One of the most common man-made catastrophes that plague Assam are the embankments for protection against river waters that regularly collapse and plunge thousands of people in grave misery, desolation and threat to life. There have been countless instances of embankments getting breached year after year. Likewise, there have also been instances of the same contractor getting the job of embankment building year after year despite the most horrible records of failure. Many such contractors are in cahoots with politicians of the ruling political party, and therefore, the number of deaths and loss of property due to embankments that have collapsed count for nothing while renewing such contracts with incompetent contractors. This year, 14 embankments have already collapsed due to the early floods. Ten of them are in lbari district, three in Sonitpur and one in Karimganj. What is worse news, however, is that there are 76 ‘most vulnerable’ embankments that could easily collapse at any time in a year when the floods are earlier than usual. The extent of human misery and utter homelessness that breached embankments can create is too deep for tears. There are two major concerns that the government must address. One, of course, is the inevitable human misery, disease, desolation and death that will come in the wake of such man-made calamities and the prompt provision of relief measures that will reduce to a minimum the time that flood-affected families have to spend on highways under an open sky with no roof over their heads. The other is the imperative to deal firmly with contractors who use substandard building material to construct such fragile embankments. Why have we never come across a contractor who has declined such a job because he knows he is not competent enough for it?

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