Guwahati: Has Government of India been sleeping while the Easter and North Eastern India got inundated after days or weeks of torrential rains? At least 58 districts across east and north eastern part of the country are suffering extremely badly as torrential rains have destroyed standing crops, ravaged towns and cities and destroyed a large number of homes.
If conservative estimates collected by government are any Indication, as many as 85 people have perished following floods that devastated several states in the region. Many big cities are completely inundated by flood water, unable to remove the water that had entered even the center of the town.
Darbhanga, in Bihar is one such town where water hasn’t receded as yet and many major thoroughfare across the town are still knee deep in the water. People are fearful that given the inability of authorities to remove flood water from the center of the town, dengue and chickenguniya may play havoc in this part of the country.
But if Darbhanga is affected by flood water, worse is the situation across Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur. In Assam alone, till Thursday the death toll in flood ravaged Assam due to drowning and electrocution reached 50 while 14 of a family were buried alive in a massive landslide in Arunachal Pradesh a few days earlier.
Reports suggest that a central team of representatives from NITI Aayog and National Disaster Response Force led by Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju carried out a ground assessment of the flood situation in Assam. Rijiju later took stock of the situation at Laptap village in Arunachal Pradesh’s Papum Pare district where the 14 people were killed by landslide. Rijiju said, “We have seen the extent of damage and an initial assessment has been carried out. Centre will provide all support after the preliminary damage assessment report.”
Opposition leaders and other NGO activists involved in flood relief work claim that the government seems to have woken rather very late. Union Minister Kiren Rijiju, leading a high-level central team to supervise rescue and relief in flood-hit north-eastern states, on Thursday visited the affected districts and took stock of the situation.
While taking stock of the situation at Lakhimpur in Assam, Rijiju held a meeting with state ministers and officials to review the extent of damages caused by the devastating flood and relief measures taken by the administration. “The district administration pointed out that the release of large volume of water from the NEEPCO dam in Yazuli, Arunachal Pradesh, caused the flood crisis in Lakhimpur,” an official release said. Rijiju said the NEEPCO incharge would be directed to hold talks with the Lakhimpur Deputy Commissioner to solve the issue of excess release of water from the dam and the resultant flooding of riverine areas of Lakhimpur.
The minister went on to see the breached Ranganadi embankment which was washed away and interacted with the displaced people of Changmai village to take stock of their plight. He assured of early repair and completion of the damaged embankment. Rijiju also expressed concern over the damage caused to standing crops and loss of human lives. He directed the Public Works Department to take immediate steps for temporary repair of damaged roads. Later, reviewing the flood situation at Dhemaji district, Rijiju said that the Centre is very much concerned about the flood situation in the north-east and assured of all possible central assistance to the state governments to cope with floods.
Photos by Yawar Rahman