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Worst flood in Plain belt area's history; 91,000 displaced

Posted in September 2012

Phulbari, Rajabala, Bhaitbari, Paham worst affected

Staff Reporter
Shillong, Sept 30:
The second wave of devastating floods in Phulbari, Rajabala, Bhaitbari, Paham and surrounding areas of Garo Hills has added more miseries to the lives of the affected people in the flood hit areas.
Barely two and a half months ago they were reeling under the pressure of floods as 114 villages were fully or partially affected with a displaced and affected population of more than one lakh in the plain belt areas of West Garo Hills.
The recent wave of floods after the recurring floods in Assam has added misery to the lives of the people and has wiped out hopes of early recovery.
In the current spate of floods, again about 100 villages have been partially or fully affected. Several hundred acres of standing sali paddy is completely destroyed eroding hopes of economic recovery for the people.
The devastation and destruction to households and crops is more severe this time though fewer numbers of houses are completely deluged or inundated. The number of displaced people is also lesser with the current available figures of about 91,000 people.
However, this is the first time that the entire plain belt area starting from Hallidayganj upto Nidanpur area is completely submerged all along the Jingiram river.
The current wave of floods for the plain belt areas came as a flash flood as the water levels in the Jingiram river was constantly rising as Brahmaputra in Dhubri swelled and caused a sudden back flow and stagnation of water in the entire plain belt area next to the Jingiram river on September 27- 28.
In Dhubri as per reports, again more than 5-7 lakh people are affected and displaced. The back flow of the Brahmaputra coupled with incessant rains has led to this wave of floods.
The areas of maximum impact have been Bhaitbari and surrounding areas with villages like Morasuti, Phershakandi, Anderkata and other surrounding villages in Rajabala taking the maximum impact of the surging river. The Bhaitbari PHC is submerged upto the window level and all the doctors quarters also are flooded. The level of stagnated water is more than last year.
The list of villages affected are Sapalgiri, Bandhabok, Rajabala, Garodubi, Magurmari, Phershakandi, Bhotdoba, Namabilla, Haripur, Nalbari, Nayagaon, Old Morasuti, New Bhaitbari, Sidakandi, Bharalgaon, Ambari, Patranga, Kalagaon, Sakmal, Rajabala, Nekikona, Goalgaon, Belbari, Gomaijhora, Gudibala, Nimaikata, Majhipara, Solartek, Shyamnagar, Dumdama, Barshidoba, Bholarbita, Bangalkhatta, Kaimbatapara, Charbatapara, Haribanga Part –I & II, Moulakandi, Gandimari, Goladigli, Patharkata (East), Patharkata (West), Paham, Nidanpur, Borijhora, Pabomari, Chandakona, Bhajamara, Salpara, Bhangarpara, Hallidayganj, Khasiabari, Haripur, Silkata, Singhimari to Nidanpur, Hallaidanga is  fully submerge; Paddy cultivation has been destroyed, NEC road opposite PHC Bhaitbari road is one or two feet under water and before reaching Shyamnagar and Gomaijhora. It is also reported that the Rajabala Higher Secondary School is completely submerged under water.
The Rajabala Outpost also has been affected with the flood waters rushing in. The damage to agricultural crop particularly Sali paddy is severe and has led to total submergence under water for the crucial crop.
The district administration has geared up to meet the emergent situation arising out of the flood situation.
14 relief camps have been designated out of the lower primary and upper primary schools which are on high safe land. People are being advised to take shelter and refuge in the relief camps but some of the affected households have moved up to the dry high land or the PWD roads fearing thefts in their houses if they vacate it fully. Some people have also moved out with their belongings and are living in makeshift tents on the dry areas at a higher altitude from where they can monitor their submerged houses.
The district administration has geared up to provide Gratuitous Relief (GR)  for five days as was decided upon survey with the ministerial delegation appointed by the Chief Minister and which visited and surveyed the flood affected areas with a team of district level officials. The GR shall include 600 gm of rice, 100 gm of dal, 30 gms of salt and 50 ml of mustard oil for adults and 400 gm of rice with other items remaining same for minors.
Other relief material like tarpaulins, buckets, mugs and plastic sheets shall be provided to the worst affected villages which have already not received the assistance in the last floods, Deputy Commissioner, West Garo Hills, Pravin Bakshi said.
He assured that safe pit latrines shall be constructed wherever necessary, adding that the district administration shall also undertake to provide bleaching powder and essential medicines wherever required. The medical teams have been alerted.
10 boats have also been requisitioned formally and several others are on standby to help in the evacuation of the families stuck in their homes or not willing to vacate the ground near their homes.
In the recent visit to the flood affected areas, under instructions from the Chief Minister of Meghalaya, the affected people have been assured of short term measures like issue of GR and relief materials and long term measures also which include flood protection and anti erosion works, Bakshi informed.
The Solartek –Majhipara embankment also will be repaired and accordingly steps shall be initiated to prepare flood control and erosion control projects, he added.
He further stated that the Assistant Director of Agriculture, West Garo Hills had also visited the area and taken down figures on the damaged and submerged areas and the loss to paddy which will translate into economic hardships for the people. In the meetings already demands were being made to waive off the KCC loans for this financial year due to the loss of crops.


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