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Floods In Assam - We need to wake up

It’s happening again! With the persistent fury of the rain gods many parts of Assam is reeling under flood waters for the umpteenth time. Year in and year out we witness the damage and destruction that the flash floods and monsoon rains bestow upon us and we can do little but watch in helpless horror. The relentless downpour in the hills as well as the plains of neighboring Arunachal Pradesh has made the Brahmaputra and its tributaries flow above the danger mark putting many at risk. Meanwhile the continuing rain in Bhutan has caused massive erosion on the western banks of the Aie river right from Daosri to Dhaligaon in the North of NH-31©. Frequent breaches in the embankment of Jiadhol river have further deteriorated the situation in the flood hit Dhemaji district. The situation worsened with the giving away of the Bailey bridge constructed by the Army in order to keep the district connected to the mainland. The Jiadhol river wrecked havoc when it breached the embankment at Dehari Chapori village and further aggravated the flood situation. A lot of people have lost their lives in these flood and have rendered thousands homeless. In Dhemaji alone a record number of about 50,000 thousand people have been affected. Though the district has not faced any food stuff shortage so far as the Food Corporation of India has maintained adequate stocks, but the probability of artificial scarcity cannot be ruled out due to the possibility of hoarding. The animals in Kaziranga National Park were not spared either as rhinos and other wildlife were observed to be stranded in search of dry land or were trying to shift towards the hills of Karbi Anglong. Even the wild animals of Kohara, Bagari and Agaratali ranges have fled to the Karbi hills by crossing NH- 3. The floods have put the animals in great danger as they have been forced to leave their habitats and the poachers are on the look out to strike at these helpless creatures. Guwahati is not spared either as the city is on high alert with the Brahmaputra flowing at 49.28 meters, only marginally below the danger level of 49.68. According to the officials of the Central Water Commission the river would further rise to a minimum of 49.37 meters within the next few days if the downpour continues. The Brahmaputra is flowing high above the danger mark in Dibrugarh as well. More than 16 villages under Joypur and Tingkhong block in the district have faced the flood fury caused by the rivers Disang and Buri Dihing. Security measures have been beefed up for the safety of the people. The Principal Secretary of Revenue and Disaster management, VR Pipersenia, stated that a battalion of the National Disaster Response Force has allegedly already been stationed in Assam and would render its services anywhere needed. Floods are a part and parcel of life in Assam during the monsoons and we should have made necessary arrangements of tackling the situation that arise out of its consequences by now. Instead of always counting the statistics of loss and damage we the people and the government should brainstorm means and ways of dealing defiantly with the recurrent floods in the process saving lives and property
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Rituparna Goswami Pande's picture

Journalist, writer


jay's picture

Isn’t it strange that even after 50 years of post independence, we have not been able to come out with a strategy to deal with this yearly ‘RITUAL’.I remember President Kalam ensured that situation in Assam was addressed by the experts, as I could read in his articles and thoughts, but nothing substantial has been worked out. It’s an irony that in abroad, we are considered to be the people having the best brains (don’t believe me, go to IIT recruitment campus and look at GORAS sitting there to hire our students) today, but alas, it seems like we can only work for the betterment of people living abroad and fail miserably at home turf. But as far as I am concerned, this is another failure of this nation as a whole rather than natural disaster. But again whom do we look at, politicians? Oh come on, we know the answer, it’s better that few animals and people die rather these politicians getting a sanctions of millions of rupee in the name of flood relief and then the money in their bank accounts. Nice thoughts though.

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