JORABAT, July 13 - The Goat Research Station at Byrnihat, which is the only goat research facility in Assam and the North East, has been badly hit by flash flood, which has affected the normal working condition at the station as well as the villagers of the surrounding areas.
The relentless downpour this morning that caused a deluge, submerged a large part of the Goat Research Station (GRS), including the area surrounding the goat shed, making it difficult for the staff to feed the goats.
This is not the first time that floodwater has affected the GRS. At times water rises to a considerable height, entering the goat shed, the office building and the staff quarters. Life in the villages of 13th Mile area which are in the vicinity of the GRS, also gets paralysed as people cannot come out of their houses due to submerged lanes and residential premises.
Dr Abdus Salaque, chief scientist at the GRS expressed fear that recurrent flash floods, if not effectively controlled, would threaten the very existence of the GRS in the near future.
Sadly enough, the goats at the GRS are being fed leaves of trees as the special kind of grass grown as fodder for the animals, has been damaged by the flash flood.
The GRS has high quality Betel, Sirohi, crossbreed and Assam hill goats. In the last few years around 11 goats have died due to flash flood. The station has been witnessing flood every year since work for four-laning of the national highway was started a few years back.
The breadth of the roadside drain has been drastically reduced in the Jorabat-Byrnihat stretch due to heavy encroachment. This results in the drain water overflowing and submerging the nearby areas at some places.
The locals have complained that man-made factors like encroachment and dumping of waste are mostly behind the frequent flash flood in the area. Poor maintenance of the drain has compounded the problem, they feel.
Recently, a high level meeting was held at Jorabat over the menace of flash flood in the area. The District Commissioner along with a few other officials took stock of the situation and directed the Sonapur Circle Officer to prepare a detailed report on the problem.
Today, Circle Officer Jenifer Yasmin Choudhury said the report is being prepared and a meeting with the NHAI’s Shillong PIU is also fixed for July 16, after which an action plan would be formulated to solve the issue.