GOVERNMENT ABSENT FROM BOTH THE FLOOD HIT NORTHEAST STATES
Heavy rains over the last three days have triggered severe floods in Assam and Meghalaya
NEW DELHI: The death toll in Meghalaya has touched 39 while the floods in Assam has taken as many as 32 lives since Monday. The devastating floods, triggered by heavy rains has left thousands of people stranded, damaged several bridges, swept many roads and inundated numerous houses in many districts of the two north-east states.
Amidst such a grim situation in both the states, the state governments are allegedly absent from the ground.
In Assam, the victims are accusing the government for lack of assistance and relief on the one hand. On the other, the affected people also alleged stealing and hoarding of relief materials, in the Goalpara district, the worst-hit in the floods.
The situation in the neighbouring state of Meghalaya is no better. The government there also, unheeding, is busy signing peace pact with the ANVC in Delhi. The worst-ever tragedy in the state which has left thousands displaced doesn’t find a place in the the State government's priority list.
The Assam Chief Minister, Tarun Gogoi, today moved to the Centre seeking additional assistance to tackle the “grim and critical” flood situation in his state. Stating that efforts were to rescue those marooned in Goalpara, Dhubri, Kamrup (where 12 bodies were recovered from Boko today) and Kamrup (metro) districts, he asked Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh of central assistance.
Further,former Chief Minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta told the media in Guwahati that the Centre has adopted a “step-motherly” attitude towards the long-pending demand of declaring the state’s annual floods a national calamity.
“We want to know the policy the Modi government wants to adopt to prevent floods in Assam,” Mahanta said.
The state is on high alert even though the water level of all the rivers and rivulets are receding. Officials said that the rehabilitation of the affected people would take several months as gushing water from the Garo hills has completely damaged houses.
The Army, along with the NDRF and SDRF are carrying out relief operations in full swing. Even the Air Force helicopters have been pressed into service to assist the other forces.
According to an estimate made by the authorities, around 350,000 people in Assam have been forced to leave their houses and flee because of these floods.
In Meghalaya, the situation is as grave with the West Garo Hills and the North Garo Hills severely affected.
While the water levels have receded in some areas like Chibinang and Tikrikilla, the low-lying areas such as Rajabala, Selsella, Charbatapara and Pushkurnipra are completely engulfed in water.
With villages submerged in water, hundreds of villagers have taken shelter in churches and schools which are located on a higher ground.
Mukul Sangma, the Chief Minister of Meghalaya had said that these floods were the worst in recent memory, adding, that the inclement weather was hampering the rescue operations in the state.
While the relief material like ration, drinking water, candles have been transported to the affected districts, the suppliers of the PDS have been asked to keep buffer stocks of foodgrains.
National Highway 51, which connects the two states- Meghalaya and Assam, has also been closed down and multiple landslides there led to a large number of vehicles being stranded.
Six teams of rescue personnel have been asked to clear the debris from there, but the overnight rains was a huge obstacle and the process is likely to take time.
The country is already fighting with heavy floods in J&K that took lives of over 300 people and these floods in the north-east have further added to the woes of the people.