BY OUR BUREAU
GUWAHATI/TINSUKIA, July 24: The current wave of floods in Assam has claimed three lives and affected over six lakh people in 14 districts of the State, besides inundating Kaziranga tiol park and Pobitora wildlife sanctuary along with Dibru-Saikhowa tiol park.
Assam Governor PB Acharya while surveying flood-affected areas by helicopter expressed great concern over the prevailing situation in the State. He stated that all efforts should be directed towards relief and rehabilitation to help flood-hit people along with livestock. He also asked the State government to take all necessary steps to help evacuate marooned people and shift them to safer places.
Chief Minister Sarbanda Sonowal today held a meeting with top officials of the departments concerned and asked them to provide all necessary assistance to flood victims and step up relief and rescue operations. Sonowal also asked the deputy commissioners of all flood-hit districts to monitor the situation closely.
On allegations about poor quality of medicines and foodstuff provided to flood victims, the Chief Minister asked the officials concerned to probe such allegations and bring the culprits to book.
In the current wave of floods, two persons have perished in Lakhimpur district and another at Mayong in Morigain district, Assam State Disaster Magement Authority (ASDMA) informed. Since April this year, 11 persons have lost their lives in floods across the State, said ndita Hazarika, Joint Secretary and SPC, ASDMA.
The swollen Brahmaputra and its tributaries are overflowing their banks in Lakhimpur, Golaghat, Morigaon, Jorhat, Dhemaji, Sivasagar, Dibrugarh, gaon, Chirang, Kokrajhar, Barpeta, Bongaigaon, gaon and Dhubri districts.
Over 21,930 flood-hit people have been moved to 81 relief camps and 50 relief distribution centres in 12 districts of the State as the flood situation continued to remain grim on Sunday, with the Brahmaputra and several of its tributaries inundating more villages in the last 24 hours. The floods have submerged more than 47,000 hectares of cropland, ASDMA said.
Large areas of Kaziranga tiol park and the Dibru-Saikhowa wildlife sanctuary have been submerged, forcing animals to take refuge in platforms built for their succor, Forest department officials said. Pobitora wildlife sanctuary in Morigaon district has half of its area inundated, forcing all wild animals to seek shelter in nearby highlands. Several link roads to Pobitora are also lying submerged, the officials added.
Officials of the Central Water Commission said that while the Brahmaputra is flowing above danger level at Dibrugarh, Neematighat, Tezpur, Golapara and Dhubri, some of its tributaries are also showing fast rising water levels. The Burhidehing, Subansiri and Dhansiri rivers are flowing above danger mark at Khowang (Dibrugarh), Bedetighat (Lakhimpur) and at Numaligarh (Golaghat) district respectively.
Similarly, Jia Bhoroli is flowing above danger level at Sonitpur while Puthimari river is flowing above danger level at Kamrup district, followed by Beki at Barpeta district. Sonkosh river is also flowing above the danger mark at Golakganj in Dhubri district.
The flood creating havoc in Tinsukia district following incessant rain in catchment areas of Aruchal Pradesh, has so far affected 39 villages in three revenue circles of Tinsukia (11), Doomdooma (5) and Margherita (23), while ferry services between Dholla and Sadiya have been closed with no damage to any embankment.
A total of 19,450 people have been affected and 3,232 people in Margherita circle have taken shelter in 10 relief camps and district administration has made arrangement to distribute 57.86 quintal of rice, 10.43 quintal of dal and 1.84 quintal of salt in Margherita circle. The corresponding figures for Doomdoma and Tinsukia circles are 28.37/115.98 quintals of rice, 6.01/21.65 quintal of dal and 1.81/6.39 quintal of salt. Meanwhile, a team of medical and veteriry doctors have been camping in the affected area, stated a DIPR press release.
The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) has urged the State government to step up relief and rescue operations on a war footing.