Tue, Oct 25, 2016 | updated 02:05 PM IST

Flood situation in Assam terrible, says minister

Updated: Aug 04, 2016 12:55 IST

Guwahati, Aug.4 (ANI): Floods have wreaked havoc in various northeastern states, especially in Assam, crippling normal life and causing massive damage to infrastructure, including roads and bridges, and affecting wildlife. Many districts and villages have been submerged due to incessant rain in the region. Left with no other option, the people have taken shelter in nearly 600 relief camps.

The floods have affected over 19 lakh people in 23 districts.

Promila Rani Brahma, Assam's Forests and Environment Minister, said, "This time the situation here in Assam is terrible. It has spread over to almost all the districts of Assam as the water level of Brahmaputra is rising. The condition of northern bank is really worst as water flows from Bhutan, which leads to erosion. In the southern bank area, we don't have hilly areas but then also it is affected because of the water that flows from Meghalaya. So, various discussions are held regarding these issues and Assam CM has taken a good initiative to tackle these issues. He has given instructions to all the MLA's and MP's to keep stock of the situation of their constituencies and help the flood affected victims with all possible facilities."

The rise in the water level of Brahmaputra River has further worsened the situation.

The most affected districts are Lakhimpur, Golaghat, Jorhat, Bongaigaon, Dhemaji, Barpeta, Goalpara, Dhubri, Darrang, Morigaon, Sonitpur, Nalbari, Sivasagar, Kokrajhar, Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Biswanath, Kamrup Metropolitan, Chirang, Nagaon, Kamrup and South Kamrup.

Even in the Garo Hills of Meghalaya, the situation has worsened as rivers are flowing above the danger level.

Mostafa Kabir, a flood victim, said, "We have been demanding since ages and the government ensured that they will fulfill our demands and will provide us with one bank embankment which can solve the problems of the people of plains in Garo Hills during flood."

People in Assam have suffered huge losses due to the floods.

Another victim of the floods said, "We are farmers and somehow we use to earn our livelihood through farming because for us that is the only source of livelihood. But this rain has created destruction and everything has been swept away by flood water. We had poultry farming; even cows lost their lives due to starvation. We are not getting proper drinking water. My son is also suffering due to ill health."

The floods have severely affected wildlife as well. At least 13 rare one-horned rhinos have drowned in the last 10 days as 80 per cent of Kaziranga National Park, home to two-third of world's one-horned rhino population, is submerged under water. Most of the rhinos are 'calves' in the age group of three months to one year. Many of them have been rescued.

A Kaziranga National Park wildlife expert said, "We have lost almost 4 rhino calves some even more than 15 hock dears have lost their lives. We have rescued around 42 hock dears. Some 19 camps were evacuated and staffs are shifted to safer places because flood was in its danger level. Water has reached to the ground level in more than 130 camps out of 178 camps. So, the situation is serious but it is a natural process. Best part of the whole thing is that people are supporting the most. There are student organizations, NGO's etc who are participating whole heartedly in rescue operation and in managing traffic. We will see lot of people helping us out. This is something very peculiar about Kaziranga National Park as people are so much emotionally attached with the animals and the park. By such support we can solve this flood situation very easily."

However, adhering to the need to resolve the decade long issue of flood and to take stock of the flood situation in Assam, Union home minister Rajnath Singh, accompanied by Chief Minister of Assam, Sarbananda Sonowal, and Minister of State Jitendra Singh recently conducted an aerial survey of the worst hit districts of Nagaon, Morigaon and Kaziranga. He also met the family members of those affected by the floods at the Bhagatgaon relief camp in Morigaon district.

Earlier this week, Union Home Minister chaired a high level meeting to review the flood rescue and relief operations. He admitted that the situation is grim, but added that the Assam government is managing the crisis well. (ANI)