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Assam Water Resource Minister visited breached embankment site in Darrang

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 Mayukh Goswami

 MANGALDAI :: State Minister for Water Resources Pijush Hazarika on June 23 has visited the flood affected areas under Rangamati Panchayat of Mangaldai revenue circle where the situation still remains grim from June 20 last after the surging water of river Saktola almost changed its course at the existing breaching point of the embankment at village Bor-Athiabari . Minister Hazarika along with Mangaldai Parliamentarian Dilip Saikia and others visited the area in SDRF boats and interacted with the people who were left homeless and taking shelter on the raised embankments.

The minister assured early repair of the breached embankment and compensation to each family based on their losses. He also directed the Darrang Deputy Commissioner best possible help to the people in this hour of crisis. Earlier on the day the minister visited the breached Nonai embankment at village Chengeliajhar under Patharighat revenue circle . It may be mentioned here that the situation in the large area consisting villages like Bor Nagaon, Choto Nagaon, Borthekerabari, Soru Thekerabari, Rangamati, Hargaon under Rangamati panchayat earlier took a serious turn as the river Saktola had almost changed its original course to the village Bor Nagaon through the breached stretch of its embankment thereby submerging all the villages. According to the officials of Water Resource Department here, 70 percent of the rising water of river Saktola has been flowing over the NH 15. As the rising water could not make its way to river Brahmaputra because of the Rangamati -Kuruwa embankment, the entire area has been transformed in to an artificial vast sea forcing their villagers remained homeless for consecutive fourth day. The plight of these people further worsen with the rise of the mercury level. In addition to other problems, the biggest problem they are facing is the lack of toilet facilities .

The personnel of Army and SDRF have evacuated a large number of stranded villagers to safer places till date. A large number of the worst flood affected villagers have been taking shelter on the embankment of river Saktola. Meanwhile the stretch of NH 15 from Piporadokan to Saktola bridge has been remain closed for vehicular traffic for the consecutive seventh day. Mention may be made here that the stretch of embankment of river Saktola at village Bor Athiabari was breached on May 16 and at that time Water Resource Minister Pijush Hazarika during his visit to the breached stretch ordered the Water Resource Department to repair the breached portion immediately. But the officials of the Water Resource Department here failed to complete the repair work within the sufficient period of a month.

The lackadaisical attitude of the Water Resource Department led to the breach of the embankment at the same point on June 16 last. Though the Rangamati- Kuruwa embankment has three sluice gates, yet these sluice gates failed to carry the large volume of waters flowing from the changed course of river Saktola which might cause breach on Rangamati-Kuruwa embankment. The flood affected villagers of these villages have witnessed the fury of the flood since the devastating flood situation in 1988. Most of the flood affected villagers miserably failed to shift their valuable household properties. Meanwhile the overall flood situation in Darrang district has slightly improved over the last twenty four hours as the no of affected people and villages have come down to nearly 4.16 lakh and 381 from the earlier figure of 5.48 lakh and 457 respectively on June 21 . So far five persons have lost their lives in this flash flood in the district .

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