Silchar, April 5: It is a tale of worst disaster in South Karimganj, North Karimganj, Patharkandi, Ramkrish gar and Ratabari areas hit by the continuing rains, cyclonic and hailstorm for the last one week. According to official sources, till now 34,552 families in South Karimganj and Ramkrish gar have been badly affected. In Patharkandi, around 10,000 houses have been damaged. 325 villages of North Karimganj, 366 villages in Ramkrish gar have also come under the spate of the tural calamity. In both the circles, 10,600 hectares of land are inundated; 7,561 hectares of bodo paddy, 1,450 hectares of rabi crop and 1,605 hectares of other crops in North Karimganj have been flooded.
These are no doubt official figures. But, the ground reality is that around 40,000 families have been badly hit, particularly during the unprecedented rains accompanied by cyclonic wind and hailstorm. The level of hails was so heavy that the roads and the rooftops as well as the crop lands were covered by icicles. According to Ritesh Das, a septuagerian of Amtilla village, Ramkrisha gar, never in his life he has seen hails in such volume and size. Just after the hails raining down, the areas looked more like that of snow covered Shimla or Srigar.
The worst thing to happen is the indifferent attitude of the district administration. Affected people in a chorus blamed the administration for not reaching relief or arranging shelters for those who have been rendered homeless. There has been no report about the distribution of relief materials in the areas affected. In fact, as Reaz Uddin Ahmed, a resident of Ashimganj in Patharkandi block, said the role of the district administration has been at the centre state of criticism. Even the state disaster magement force remained unmoved.
Krishnendu Paul, MLA of Patharkandi, brought the plight of the distressed people to the notice of Chief Minister Sarbanda Sonowal after which the district administration became alert and active to assess the situation. The agriculture officer, Ashisatru Das, accompanied by SDO N S Singh, agriculture extension officers Bijit Paul, Bijit Choudhury and Bidyut Paul and other staff members visited the villages of North Karimganj and Ramkrish gar to assess the losses. Disaster magement DPO Iqbal Hussain Choudhury, as alleged by the villagers, was nowhere to be seen.
The sufferings of the people were further complicated by the flattening of electrical poles in many places, uprooted trees spped the wires, plunging vast areas in darkness. 70% villages are without electricity, disrupting water supply. Mobile and internet services have come to a standstill. Not only the residential homes, but the disaster has left in its trail many school buildings in totters. Normal functioning of schools has also come to a standstill. After receiving message from the Chief Minister Sarbanda Sonowal, Deputy Commissioner Pradip Kumar Talukdar has issued strict order to his officials and staff not to leave the district and engage themselves in relief operations.