Guwahati, August 19 : More than three lakh people are affected in the most recent floods in Assam following incessant rains across the state and Meghalaya, in the past few days.
The flood situation in Assam turned grim on Wednesday after flood waters submerged 611 villages across Dhemaji, Kokrajhar, Chirang, Lakhimpur, Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, Bongaigaon, Sivasagar, Nalbari, Sonitpur, Barpeta, Jorhat and Goalpara districts.
People sheltered in schools, on highways and higher land, above the flood waters.
A flood report from Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) said more than 1.35 lakh people were affected in the most recent flood alone in Bongaigaon district.
More than 1,40,000 people are afeected in Bongaigaon district, more than 48,000 in Kokrajhar and 41,000 in Dhemaji district. 124 relief camps in Bongaigaon, Kokrajhar and Chirang, now shelter more than 84,000 people whose homes were inundated.
More than 27,000 hectares crop area in Dhemaji, Kokrajhar, Bongaigaon, Lakhimpur and Chirang districts.
The Brahmaputra and its tributaries are still rising, and The Central Water Commission says the river is now above the danger mark at Dibrugarh, Nematighat in Jorhat, Jia Bharali river at N.T.Rd. Crossing in Sonitpur, Puthimari river at N.T.Rd. Crossing in Kamrup and Beki river at Road Bridge in Barpeta.
Sushanta Roy, reporting from Diphu, said large parts of the Baithalangso area of Hamren subdivision (now western Karbi Anglong district) were inundated by spreading waters of the Borpani River. The areas affected are Baithalangso proper, Tisso village, Das village, No 1 and No , No 3 and North part of Hongkram, Amdubi, Borsali, Kharupindha, Borlangphar, Umru, Longra, North Latumari, Long Jap, Amguri, Rupatciti, Longbai, Daplang, Dalani, Lingding, Bihanru, Chapmara, Ajar gaon, Dewa guri, Rihajan, Garo gaon, Gara guri, BorbilKhar gaon, Rongthar may, Kachua and Sing Mari.
Incessant rainfall in the past 48 hours in neighbouring Meghalaya and in the catchments of Borpani and its major and minor tributaries submerged the whole area however the situation has not yet become as bad as last year.
Residents are also worried about the waters held back by the Karbi Langpi hydro electric project, which is only 20 kilometres away. Last year, hydro project authorities released massive amounts of water without warning anyone.
“Our actual apprehension is not with the rivers on the swell but the accumulating water inside the barrage of the 100 Mega Watt capacity Karbi Langpi hydro electric project, its only 20 kilometre away located at a considerable elevation; last year on August 14 and September 29 the authority of the project released massive amount of surfeit water from the barrage without any warning. The successive release of water without pre-warning caused havoc in the area, large paddy cultivation, plantation of B. Nut and leaf, pepper, Lemon, turmeric, ginger, seism, jut etc was completely washed away. Large private ponds and marshy lands were washed off where very large quantity of fish was stored for harvesting; all was lost due to unrestrained release of water” said a local Baithalangso resident, who sustained huge damage last year caused by the flood.
People of Baithalangso and other flood affected areas have appealed to the authority to release excess water from the barrage with caution so that the devastation of last year doesn’t repeat.
Hemanta Kumar Nath and Sushanta Roy contributed to this report.