|250 Sonitpur villages reeling under floods|
TEZPUR, July 19 – More than 250 villages, including Swaguri, Bamunakhuti, Goroimari, Bahumari, Bhujmari, Bogora Ati, Baga Centre, Bam Basti, Singimari, Kumolia, No.1 and 2 Adaveti, Kolakhati, Mirihola, Kotora Ati, Tewari Pal, Dolapani, Bookabil, Ghiladhari, Chandra Ati, Chalia-Chapori, Pukekhati Bihiagaon, Kurukani, Rajgar, Singitoli, No. 2 Bihiagaon, Gorsinga Bihiagaon, Samdhora, Rajbhoral, Koroioni, Kuttamara, Gorbandha, Jahajbandha, Dipota, Beseria, etc., under Naduar, Biswanath, Gohpur, Tezpur, Dhekiajuli, Helem and Chariduar circles have been reeling under the impact of floods caused by the Brahmaputra river. The unrepaired portion of the dyke at Solmara in southern part of Sootea and Jamugurihat has been responsible for a heavy toll on life and property.
It has been observed during a survey conducted by NGO Caritas, Denmark and India that due to the alleged negligence of the E&D department in taking necessary measures for protecting the Biswanath-Panpur embankment, the Brahmaputra has been causing untold miseries to the people of the area for the last many years.
This time around, the floods and erosion turned violent after breaching about 600 metres of Biswanath-Panpur embankment at Solmara. Under the Biswanath Revenue Circle, there are many villages adjacent to the Biswanath-Panpur embankment which have been affected by the surging waters of the Brahmaputra during the monsoon. Sources said that under Naduar Revenue Circle, a total of 1,43,290 people, under Biswanath Revenue Circle, a total of 24,771, under Gohpur Revenue Circle, a total of 49,782, under Tezpur Revenue Circle, a total of 44,000, under Dhekiajuli Revenue Circle, a total of 55,000, under Helem Revenue Circle, a total of 24,771 amd under Chariduar Revenue Circle, a total of 18,500 people are affected. The sources further revealed that in the floods under Naduar and Biswanath Revenue circles, a total of 60,000 people have been evacuated and 120 relief camps have been set up where a total of 1,65,030 affected people have been sheltered.
The Biswanath and Nadwar circles under Sootea block are hubs of agricultural produce, fish, milk, etc. The flood destruction has resulted in sudden price rise of vegetables in the market.
Md Samirul Ali of Kotar Ati area, a fisherman, said that the second worst-affected sector is fishery. In the floods, he has lost lakhs of rupees as eight beels including Uvata Beel, Borali Mora, Siroioni, Baluhola, Rowmari, Dew Beel, Mirikhuti and Ghiladhari under Nadwar Meen Mahal owned by him have been washed away. “Around 30 hectares of fishery land owned by about 60 fishermen, have been inundated by the floodwaters in Biswanath subdivision.
Naba Kumar Chetry, another local, said that the floods have damaged dairy farms too. Hundreds of heads of cattle in the char-chapori areas have been washed away. “As the rising trend of the Brahmaputra has not changed yet, many houses in the area are still under water, cutting off the area with other parts of the State.We have been facing acute food and drinking water shortage,” Chetry added.
Another social worker of the area, Sahidur Rahman alleged that the so-called people’s representatives and government officials have shamelessly been involved in misappropriating relief materials allotted for the affected people. Relief materials like foodgrains and tarpaulins were provided, but certain unscrupulous leaders of the area held back all those things instead of distributing the same among the affected people. He said erosion has taken a bad turn at Kolakhati area, posing a serious threat. Moreover, the sixth addition of the Kaziranga National Park is adjacent to it and due to the floods, the wildlife has also been affected.
NGO Caritas, Denmark and India, the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit of Emmanuel Hospital Association in association with Baptist Christian Hospital and certain local NGOs have come forward to help us through medical camps and by providing relief funds, he added.
Albert Caritas, consultant for South Asia Caritas, Germany and Thangsa Sabestian, partner support official, Caritas, India, told this reporter that after a study of the devastation caused by the floods, they have felt that the urgent needs in the area are medicine, food and tarpaulin.