BARPETA, June 22 – The Opposition AGP and AIUDF have demanded that Barpeta district should be declared a flood-affected one immediately. Rajya Sabha member Kumar Dipak Das visited several places in the district on June 19 and took stock of the situation. Speaking to this correspondent, Das said that the relief materials supplied to the suffering people so far is far from sufficient and he demanded supply of adequate relief to all the affected people.
He informed that till now no food for infants and child has been provided anywhere in the district. He also alleged that the PHE and the Health Department officials have not yet begun any activity for the prevention of the flood-related diseases.
Das expressed his shock and anguish over the poor management of the entire situation and demanded immediate steps by the Government to mitigate the woes of the suffering people. He assured the people that he would leave no stone unturned to pressurise the Central Government for the construction and repair of the breached embankments in the district if the State Government forwards the required proposals to this effect.
He demanded that Barpeta should be declared a flood-affected district immediately so that all the facilities could be provided to it according to the prevalent rules. Chittaranjan Barman, secretary of the Barpeta district committee of the AGP, who has been continuously visiting the flood-hit areas since the beginning also accompanied Das.
On the other hand, the AIUDF criticised the State Government for its alleged stepmotherly attitude toward the people of this district at such a critical juncture. Addressing a press conference in Barpeta Press Club on June 19, AIUDF leader and the MLA of Barpeta constituency Abdur Rahim Khan informed that while Sarukshetri, Barpeta and Bhabanipur constituencies are fully affected, the loss in Jania, Chenga, Sarbhog and Baghbar is partial. The AIUDF and Jamiyat leadership is constantly monitoring the situation and the MLAs of the party along with the State and district leaders are visiting the affected areas daily.
He informed that the party has requested the Chief Minister and the Water Resource Minister of the State to take stock of the ongoing situation in the district and take effective measures to relieve the people of the suffering. Moreover, the president of the party and the Member of Parliament Badaruddin Ajmal has also requested the Prime Minister in this regard. But it is a matter of regret that neither the State nor the Centre have responded to the request properly. He requested the Chief Minister to visit Barpeta for a proper assessment of the situation.
Khan alleged that instead of attending to the plight of the people, the State Government seems to neglect the entire situation. He stated that the Minister of Agriculture, who is also the caretaker of the district, visited Barpeta on the June 18 and he spent about 20 minutes at the office of the Deputy Commissioner. The minister neither visited any flood-hit area nor talked to the MLAs of the district. The minister earlier visited every nook and corner of his own constituency, Dharmapur but he could not spare a few moments to study the flood situation in Barpeta on his own.
Jinnat Ali, general secretary of the party, alleged that by not providing sufficient relief to the people, the State Government has not only deviated from human ethics but also violated the Constitutional provisions. He indicated that the responsibility to the people begins with the oath of office and secrecy by the Government wherein it is sworn that the minister would look after all the people without any prejudice. But in case of floods, the Government has not acted in proper spirit which has violated the constitutional provisions of secular democracy.
The press meet was also attended by Ali Hussain, Rafiqul Islam, Abdul Kalam Azad, MLAs of Sarukshetri, Jania and Bhawanipur respectively and several other leaders of the party as well as Jamiyat State committee. All of them alleged discrimination of the people of the district by the State Government in the hour of need. They also indicated large-scale erosion by the Brahmaputra, Beki and Manah in several parts of the district to which the Government has been turning a deaf year for years together.