JORHAT, Aug 9 - The Golaghat district administration has urged the State government to take up with the authorities of North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Limited (NEEPCO) the issue of sharing information about rainfall and possible release of excess water by the Doyang River Project from its reservoir in Nagaland in advance with the Golaghat administration to enable it to take precautionary measures to minimise damage by floods that could be caused from release of water.
The release of excess water from the Doyang Dam on July 27 led to a sudden rise in the water levels in the Dhansiri and Doyang rivers that triggered floods in the adjoining riverside areas leading to submerging of over 90 villages, thereby affecting a population of over 93,000 and damaging vast areas of paddy fields and houses.
For several days, vehicular traffic on the National Highway-37 at Numaligarh in the district was disrupted due to damage incurred on a bridge by the floodwaters.
Denying NEEPCO’s claim that prior information was given to the administration before the release of excess water by the Doyang River Project on July 27, Golaghat Deputy Commissioner Gaurav Bothra told The Assam Tribune that the Doyang Project had sent a mail on July 26, but dated July 25, to the Golaghat administration stating about the release of excess water from the dam reservoir, thereby not providing sufficient time (less than 24 hours) to take precautionary measures.
The DC said the administration in such a short span of time did take precautionary steps whatever possible to minimise the impact of the discharge of excess water due to heavy rainfall in the upper catchment areas of the Doyang river.
He alleged that the administration on July 22 had sought information from NEEPCO on the amount of rainfall received in the upper catchment areas of Doyang in recent times and intake of water in the dam and the possibility of excess water deposited and discharged, but there was no response. Only on July 26, in the nick of time before releasing the water at 5 am on July 27, the power corporation informed the administration through a mail, Bothra said.
The DC said he has sent a report to the State government mentioning the cause of the flood and steps taken by the administration.
He said that in the report sent to Rajesh Prasad, Principal Secretary of Revenue and Disaster Management Department, he mentioned that in the past several months, NEEPCO has not shared any information on the amount of rainfall and other relevant data like excess water deposited and about releasing the same giving prior notice with sufficient time in advance on a regular basis.
The DC said he has urged Prasad to take up the matter of informing the Golaghat administration on a regular basis in advance so that the damage, if floods were caused, could be curbed as much possible.
Bothra informed this newspaper that the flood situation has improved since the past three days. As many as 19 relief camps have been closed as people returned to their houses. At present, there are 63 camps across the district. He said the damage caused by the floods will be compensated by the government as per rules after an assessment.