Devastating flood claims five more lives in Assam, toll mounts to 44, Sonowal takes stock in Kaziranga flood situation

By: Hemanta Kumar Nath/GNN Correspondent

Guwahati, July 12: The flood situation in Assam turned wore with claiming five more lives on Wednesday taking the death toll mounted to 44 and affecting over 1.7 million people of 24 districts.

On Wednesday five people were drowned in Majuli, Sivsagar, Dhemaji, Golaghat and Nagaon district.

The current flood situation is slipped out of control as the flood waters inundated more areas in the state and the water levels of Brahmaputra river and its tributaries flown over danger level marks in various areas following incessant rains in the state and other neighbouring states in past couple of days.

According to the reports of Assam Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), over 1.7 million people of Lakhimpur, Bongaigaon, Darrang, Jorhat, Golaghat, Cachar, Dhemaji, Biswanath, Karimganj, Sonitpur, Majuli, Barpeta, Nagaon, Nalbari, Sivsagar, Morigaon, Chirang, Dibrugarh, Dhubri, Kokrajhar, South Salmara, Charaideo, Goalpara and Karbi Anglong district are affecting in the current flood and the flood waters submerged 1,05,860.01 hectares agricultural land of 2488 villages under 82 revenue circles.

Over 3.03 lakh people are affected alone in flood-hit South Salmara district along with Bangladesh border, while 2.68 lakh affected in Lakhimpur, 1.81 lakh in Morigaon, 1.45 lakh in Dhubri, 1.31 lakh in Dhemaji, 1.01 lakh in Barpeta.

On the other hand, a total of 31,456 people of 16 districts are homeless in the devasting flood and forced to take shelter in 294 numbers temporary relief camps set up the administration.

On Wednesday, flood waters breached at least 20 embankments in Lakhimpur, Dhemaji, Kokrajhar, Majuli, Barpeta, Sivsagar, Jorhat, Golaghat, Chirang district and damaged at least 55 road and bridges in several areas in the state.

A top official of ASDMA said that, the current flood claimed 10 lives in worst affected Lakhimpur district, while 8 in Kamrup (Metro), 4 in Jorhat, 3 in Golaghat, 2 each in Sivsagar, Sonitpur, Nagaon, Karimganj and one each in Dhemaji, Dibrugarh, Majuli, Nalbari, Barpeta, Goalpara, South Salmara, Cachar, Dima Hasao, Hojai and Morigaon district till Wednesday.

On the other hand, the flood situation in Kaziranga National Park is still grim as flood waters submerged over 83 per cent areas in the park and claimed 23 animals including two one horned rhinos so far.

“129 anti poaching camp area in the national park are inundated and most of animals have moved to the safer places,” a park official said.

Meanwhile, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal directed to form a coordination committee involving the Deputy Commissioners, Superintendents Police and Divisional Forest Officers of five districts with a mandate to maintain a close vigil on the movements of animals and their probable threats from the poachers during flood in the State.

Taking stock of the prevailing flood and its resultant damage in Kaziranga National Park Sonowal took a boat ride to oversee the extent of flood induced damage in Bagori Range, and said that the Coordination Committee involving functionaries of five districts namely Nagaon, Golaghat, Karbi Anglong, Sonitpur and Biswanath would report to the Forest Minister on a day to day basis on the flood situation and protection measures being applied for the animals.

Undertaking extensive visit within 20 km radius of the Kaziranga National Park in Bagori Range, Sonowal assessed the impact of the current wave of flood on the National Park and its flora and fauna, Sonowal asked DCs and SPs of Nagaon, Golaghat and Karbi Anglong to take stringent action against possible attempt of poaching.

He also asked Environment and Forest Department to provide fodder and medical attention to the animals taking shelter on the high lands.

Holding a meeting at the Bagori IB this afternoon, Sonowal also asked the civil and police administration to be innovative and find ways and means to provide protection to the animals in Kaziranga and asked the forest guards to be on high alert to thwart any evil design of poachers.

Sonowal also informed that besides existing forces, 90 more forest guards have been deployed for the protection of strayed animals.

The Assam CM asked the Veterinary and Forest Department to fortify the highlands and plant saplings on them.

In the meeting Sonowal also directed Health and PHE Departments of the concerned districts to spray DDT at the flood affected areas and provide halogen tablets to the flood affected people.

He also asked APDCL to check electric wires and transformers and prevent any electricity related accidents. He also directed the DCs to reach out to the affected people on a daily basis.

Sonowal informed that steps have already been taken to repair minor breaches on the embankments and said that adequate steps have already been taken to allot land to those people affected by flood erosion.

Extending his gratitude to the flood affected people, Sonowal said that Central Government is in touch with State Government and all steps are being taken to deal with the problem.

Regarding NEEPCO’s release of water which caused flooding in several areas, Sonowal said that State Government has taken up the matter with NEEPCO and impressed upon it not to repeat it further.

The Assam CM while visiting the flood affected areas of Kaziranga on boat also interacted with the forest guards on duty.

Earlier, Sonowal visited two relief camps at Hatikhuli at Kohora in Kaziranga National Park and interacted with camp inmates.

Environment and Forest Minister Pramila Rani Brahma, Water Resources Minister Kesab Mahanta, Agriculture Minister Atul Bora accompanied Sonowal during his visit.

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About Cholo Brooks 4286 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL), including several other international organizations of journalists.