GUWAHATI : Flood situation in Assam and Arunachal continues to be grim and more than 15 lakh people are affected in the state. In Assam, flood reports have reported that one or four persons were killed in barpeta and majuli districts due to floods, raising the total death toll to 12. However, this number is continuously increasing. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had recently held talks with Assam Chief Minister Hemant Biswa to provide all possible help in the state. The Union Home Ministry is monitoring the flood situation. Meanwhile, 10 NDRF teams have been deployed in the state for relief operations. Rivers are in spate due to which the water level is rising. The bottom line is that water has entered people’s houses. However, people are being evacuated to safer places. Not only this, incidents like landslides due to heavy rains are also being reported from hilly states. In Uttar Pradesh, thousands of bighas of crops have been submerged due to floods in Saryu river.
There is continuous wastage due to rain. Flood water has also reached the railway track leading to diversion of the route. Not only that, a large number of people have lost their lives in difficult times. In Assam, the flood has severely affected about 8,92,000 people from 350 revenue villages as well as Orang National Park and Tiger Reserve in Darang district. 21 districts are reeling under floods. According to the Park Authority, half of the 40 forest camps have been submerged in the overflow waters of the Brahmaputra and Dhanshree rivers. Belsiri, Kathgarha and Joni are the worst affected camps, submerged in six feet deep water while other camps are also under 3/4 feet of flood water. There are no reports of any wildlife damage as they have already moved to high altitudes to seek shelter. So far, there is no shortage of food as half of the park is still flood free.
However, regular patrolling by forest guards still remains a major challenge. The forest guards had set out barefoot patrolling with rifles on their shoulders.Apart from the bullets of forest guard poachers, their position was weakened by potential life hazards from wild animals, poisonous snakes, blood-soaked leeches, who are always looking to turn disaster into their chances. A senior forest staff member said foot patrolling during floods is a regular occurrence for them. According to the bulletin, 3,617 people have been evacuated from various flood affected areas of the state by various agencies engaged in relief and rescue operations. The 21 affected districts of the State include Barpeta, Vishwanath, Chirang, Darrang, Dhemaji, Dibrugarh, Golaghat, Jorhat, Kamrup, Lakhimpur, Majuli, Morigaon, Nagaon, Nalbari, Sivasagar, Sonitpur and Tinsukia. On the other hand, the Siang river in Arunachal Pradesh has been rising due to torrential rains for the past two weeks in the upper reaches of Siang region, causing severe erosion on both banks in Eastern Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh. A strong course of the Siang River is taking a serious turn on its left bank and causing severe erosion in the villages of Cigar, Borgli, Seram, Kongkul, Naamkarann, Gadam and Mer in mebo sub division of eastern Siang district. The Siang river has also wiped out a 1-km stretch of Mebo-Dhola PWD road between Borguli and Serum in the district. Meanwhile, a team of National People’s Party (NPP) leaders from the district led by its district president Shani visited mebo’s erosion-hit site. He has demanded the state government to take anti-erosion measures to save the fertile cropland and human habitat of Mebo. Elected leaders of the region are silent on the dangerous issue for the best reasons. “The Rs 35 crore anti-eroson project released by the Donor Ministry two years ago was totally misused by elected leaders,” said Olik Megu, general secretary of The Eastern Siang district of NPP.