Brahmaputra flowing above danger level throughout Upper Assam; Train movement hampered; Army pressed into rescue operation
Our Bureau & Agencies
Guwahati/New Delhi, Aug 20: The flood situation in the State continued to deteriorate on Thursday, affecting nearly 3 lakh people in thirteen districts.
The Brahmaputra was flowing above danger mark at Neamatighat (Jorhat) and Dibrugarh. Three other rivers were also flowing above the red mark – Jia Bhoroli at Sonitpur, Puthimari in Kamrup and Beki in Barpeta.
A Central Water Commission official said the level of water at Neamatighat had risen 1.57cm above danger level. Ferry services were suspended on the river, marooning the inhabitants of Majuli.
Flood waters have also damaged infrastructure at various places, besides spping communication on some stretches of NH 31 at Kokrajhar and NH 53 at Hailakandi. Landslides were also reported from Tarapur in Cachar.
Seven trains, including the Down Rajdhani, Brahmaputra Mail, Trivandrum Express and Guwahati-Bikaner Express, were halted at various places as the railway track between Saprakata and Bijni has been submerged by flood waters. Train movement is slated to resume after 2 pm today.
In Guwahati, the water level of Brahmaputra was just one metre below danger level, but was rising at 9 cm per hour.
The rising waters have inundated a crop area of 27,000 hectares.
Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports, Sarbanda Sonowal, met Union Home Minister Rajth Singh in New Delhi on Thursday and apprised him of the flood situation in the State.
“I have written to the Chief Minister (of Assam, Tarun Gogoi) asking for a report on the flood situation in the State,” Sonowal told reporters here, adding: “Once the Assam government’s report is received, the Central government will provide assistance to the State.”
According to the latest flood report released on Thursday by the Assam State Disaster Magement Authority (ASDMA), 2,96,929 people in 611 villages in the State have been affected in the current floods.
Till now, 13 districts have been hit - Dhemaji, Kokrajhar, Lakhimpur, Chirang, Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, Bongaigaon, Sivasagar, lbari, Sonitpur, Barpeta, Jorhat and Goalpara.
The authorities have opened 124 relief camps in Kokrajhar, Chirang, Bongaigaon and Dibrugarh where nearly 84,800 people are taking shelter.
The army has pressed in its the Red Horn Division for flood relief operations. The army launched two columns – led by an officer and two JCOs - for flood relief operations in Kokrajhar and Chirang districts of flood hit Assam.
“The army rescued many villagers from inundated areas and provided relief in terms of food and medical assistance,” defence spokesman Lt Col Suneet Newton said.
Meanwhile, eighteen MLAs – all members of a House Committee on way to survey some projects – were gheraoed by flood-hit people at Hasapara in Bongaigaon, alleging that the administration had failed to provide them relief materials.