Floods in Assam and double whammy of Corona, rationing worsens situation
“I have been stuck in flood waters for about 15 days. There are two young children and an old mother at home. Meanwhile, the administration once gave one kg of rice and 200 grams of pulses per person. After that no one came to take care of us How will the ration of the house go forward, because the field is submerged in water. “
47-year-old Mohammad Nayan Ali suddenly becomes silent for a while, describing his problems arising out of the flood.
Actually, 27 of the total 33 districts of Assam are submerged in flood water at this time. According to a report released from Assam State Disaster Management Department at 7 pm on Thursday, 39 lakh 79 thousand 563 people have been affected due to flood water entering 3218 villages. Most of the villages in Barpeta district have been hit by floods. Among them Mohammad Nayan Ali’s village Sidhoni is also one.
Every year floods in Assam cause huge destruction of life and property. But until the flood damage is assessed under complicated government procedures, the next flood will occur in the state. So people always question the government regarding the construction of embankment and other repairs.
Mohammad Nayan Ali also raises the issue of not implementing timely government schemes for flood prevention, saying, “Our family settled in this village has been in over a hundred years. We have a temporary land lease of 1919. I have been witnessing the devastation of floods since childhood. But once in the first four-five years there used to be severe floods. But now every year there is a huge flood.
In the village of Sidhoni, with a population of about three thousand, most people do farming and make a living. But every year due to flood, their crop is ruined. Most farmers here accuse that after the flood water dries up, the people of the district administration do come to assess the damage, but there is nothing in lieu of the loss.
Ali says, “Our family falls under the poverty line. Every year we do farming with the hope that saving some money will improve the conditions of the house. But floods ruin everything. Government officials are aware of the damage caused by floods. We get the form filled. But in the last four years, not a single rupee has been received in lieu of our loss. “
This is the second flood in Assam this year in which 71 people have died so far. Due to floods in the state, the worst damage has occurred in Dhubri, Morigaon, Dhemaji, Darang and Dibrugarh districts after Barpeta.
The state project co-ordinator of the Assam State Disaster Management Authority, Pakanj Chakraborty, told the BBC, “So far 71 people have died in floods and 26 have died due to landslides. The flood situation is more terrible this year than last year. Flood waters have receded in many areas of Upper Assam but the water level in lower Assam is above the danger mark. Special care is being taken of the flood victims brought to relief camps due to Kovid. Is being kept within a certain physical distance. Everyone has been given masks, sanitizers and more toilets have been arranged than before. “
According to an information from the Disaster Management Department, 748 relief camps and 300 relief centers have been opened in 23 districts. In these relief camps, 49 thousand 313 people are staying. In many districts, where paved roads have been submerged in the flood waters, more than two dozen concrete roads have been broken. Reports of the disappearance of many people have been written in Barpeta and Gwalpada districts.
According to a report by the Central Water Commission, Jorhat, Tezpur, Guwahati, Gwalpada, Dhubri, Brahmaputra and its tributaries are flowing above their danger mark. The water released from the Kurichu Hydropower Plant in Bhutan is also being said to be a reason for more devastation due to floods in Barpeta district.
In this context, Barpeta District Deputy Commissioner Munindra Sharma says, “About 739 villages in our district have been affected due to floods. So far 11 lakh 65 thousand 363 people have been hit by the floods. A total of 15 people have died due to the sinking of the flood waters.” It has gone. It is raining heavily in our district and Bhutan has been releasing water continuously for the last 10 days. So the floods have worsened the situation here. “
Does Bhutan directly alert you before releasing water from its hydropower plant? District Deputy Commissioner Sharma, answering this question, says, “We are alerted from the side of our government. But if Bhutan releases more than 1500 cumecs of water daily, it will obviously worsen the flood situation.”
On the question of giving only one kg of rice to the flood affected people once in 15 days in the name of relief, the District Deputy Commissioner said that flood water enters many areas but it does not stay there for long. In such a situation, after evaluating the entire situation, the people of the district administration give relief to the affected people three to four times and those who go back to their homes after the flood water dries up are not given relief later. .
According to an information from East Assam Wildlife Division, 76 animals have died in Kaziranga National Park due to floods. While 121 other animals have been saved in the national park. Apart from this, out of the total 223 camps in the park, 99 camps have been submerged in flood waters and six camps have been evacuated.
There are many reasons behind the terrible floods in Assam from year to year. Experts who study the Brahmaputra river tell that frozen snow and Himalayan glaciers are melting rapidly on the Tibetan plateau due to increasing pollution and temperature. This will increase the water level of both the dams and river built on the Brahmaputra river.
In Tibet, sediment begins to accumulate at the origin of the river, as the glaciers melt and destroy the soil.
As the water moves towards Assam, it collects more sediment and brings with it. Whereas the other tributaries of the Brahmaputra are said to be ineffective in destroying this sediment, causing massive flooding and soil erosion. The Brahmaputra is one of the top five rivers of the world bringing sediment with them.