GUWAHATI/SHILLONG: Flash floods and heavy rains have led to lakhs of people being affected in Assam, due to the rising waters of Saralbhanga River and other major tributaries of the Brahmaputra River, as the Indian Army has now launched major relief operations in the north-eastern state.

Incessant rain for the past few days has flooded districts of Arunachal Pradesh. Rivers are in full spate and surface communication in many areas has been disrupted owing to landslides triggered by rain.

Two flood relief columns of the Army's Red Horn Division have been deployed in Kokrajhar and Chirang districts, with boats and relief material in affected areas. A column consists of about 40 soldiers led by an officer, boats, life jackets and other flood relief stores.

Speaking to The Citizen, Mr. Pradip Phanjoubam editor of Imphal free press in Imphal said, “ The worst affected states are Manipur, Asaam and partly Arunachal Pradesh. The paddy fields have been damaged in huge volume. However, this is a perennial problem for the state. Every year rains brings in these problems and damages”.

Nearly three lakh people have been affected in 13 districts of the state, and the Brahmaputra is flowing above the danger mark in the Jorhat and Dibrugarh districts.Lower Assam's Kokrajhar and Bongaigoan are the worst-affected districts, 611 villages are flooded across the state. A total of 27, 087 hectares of crop land are submerged.

Further, Phanjoubam added that there should be a policy that will take care of these problems every year. “ The damages caused are huge. Loss of paddy field will badly affect. There should be some policy since the rain will happen every year.

124 relief camps have been opened up across the flooded districts, 84 of them are in Kokrajhar. Nearly 85,000 people have taken shelter in these relief camps.

Many roads and bridges have been damaged in the affected districts, but no casualties have been reported yet due to floods.

The Khalsa Youth wing, a voluntary organization is working round the clock. “ They have been hands on with the victims. There are other voluntary organizations which have been very helpful. These voluntary organization are providing drinking water, food and medicines. Offcourse the boat clinics are very promising but there is huge number that has been affected therefore the relief should also required in a bigger way” added Phanjoubam

In neighbouring Meghalaya, a huge landslide at Thansen and Ratachara areas on National Highway Six in the state's East Jaintia Hills district, has disconnected southern Assam, Tripura, Mizoram, parts of Meghalaya and Manipur from the rest of the country.