Flood situation remains grim, Sonowal visits affected areas

Tezpur/Jorhat, Aug 18: The flood situation in Assam remained critical in a number of districts including Dhemaji, Lakhimpur and Sonitpur with two persons losing their lives and over one lakh people being affected. In Lakhimpur, where the two deaths took place, over 100 villages were under flood water. More than 70 villages were submerged by the flood waters of river Brahmaputra in Dhemaji and four relief camps were opened by the district administration.

In Sonitpur district, the floods have affected two sub divisions – Tezpur and Gohpur. The present round of floods also remained critical in other districts like Nagaon, Jorhat, Morigaon and Dibrugarh. Meanwhile, Union Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal visited the flood affected areas in Dhemaji and assured people of all help and support from the Centre. Meeting people in the worst affected Deurighat area near the upcoming Bogibeel bridge, he assured them of uninterrupted supply of relief material and oversaw the administration’s relief operations.

Sonowal said the embankment, which was washed away by gushing waters four days ago, would be repaired as soon as the monsoon was over. Lakhimpur Deputy Commissioner Gaurav Bothra said the flood situation remained grim with all tributaries of Brahmaputra flowing over the danger mark and water levels rising since last night. However, at some places flood waters have been receding as well, he added. According to official reports, over 2,548 hectares of standing crops have been destroyed in Lakhimpur during past four days of flood and affected over one lakh people in more than 100 villages under seven revenue circles.

Bothra said rescue operation was going on and the district administration has distributed relief goods to the affected families, but no relief camp has been set up yet as the people were taking shelter in higher lands and school complexes. In Jorhat, the water levels of Brahmaputra have marginally gone down at Neematighat, Jhanjimukh, Kamalabari and Numaligarh. So far, over 50 villages are under water in Jhanjimukh, Neematighat and the world’s largest inhabited river island Majuli, an official said.

Jorhat Deputy Commissioner S B Vasant said people from Jhanjimukh area were living on roads and three schools. In Majuli, 75 per cent of the villages adjacent to Brahmaputra are under water and all families have been shifted to higher places with some taking shelter in two relief camps.

However, majority of the people are living in temporary sheds on roads and embankments, Majuli Sub-Divisional Officer Loya Maduri said, adding the ferry services were continuing but if water level went beyond the danger mark, the services would be stopped. The famed Kaziranga National Park and Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary were also heavily flooded with animals moving to higher grounds to protect themselves.