SOS Garo Hills: Fresh floods in Plain Belt area

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Staff Reporter
Shillong, Sept 28:
Situation in Plain Belt area of West Garo Hills remains grim as fresh flood has created havoc.
The SDO (Civil) has been instructed to conduct preliminary assessment by visiting the flood affected areas on Friday while the district administration is also expected to stock of the situation by visiting the areas separately. 
However, the damage by the fresh floods could not be ascertained.
Rajabala MLA, Sayeedullah Nongrum, termed the fresh floods as the worst in the history of the Garo Hills.
Nongrum has just returned from visiting the flood affects areas in his constituency and adjoining areas.  He complained that the relief material provided by the district administration is not enough as rice, dal and atta have been provided only for five days while tarpaulin and utensils have not been given. He also rued about the poor hygiene in the flood affected areas.
In one of the instances, he shared that in Angarkata, 15 houses have been completely washed away by flood, but the families with only tarpaulin that cannot withstand the heavy downpour being received by the region lately.
He, however, has appealed to the government, irrespective of party affiliations, to jointly work together and find out a permanent solution to this problem. He urged the leaders to refrain from making the issue into a political one and work for the better of the people suffering in these areas.
Nongrum suggested for creating the permanent embankment along the river, which will also enable people to reclaim their lost land.
He even observed that going by the pace of erosion of soil in Phulbari, Brahmaputra River would soon wash away the entire main Phulbari town.
Each year, about 200 meters of land is being eroded by Jinjiram River because of the force of Brahmaputra River.  The situation is such that the distance between the river bank and the major road in Rajabala, EMPT road connecting Agia in Assam to Mendipathar, Phulbari and Tura, is just 1.5 kms away. Whereas, the river banks are becoming inhabitable due to fear of floods every year.
Over 14,500 houses in Phulbari, Rajabala, Nollbari, Islampur areas were affected by floods during June – July earlier this year.
Meghalaya government has claimed that 1,09,397 persons were affected by the floods. The government set up 15 relief camps to rehabilitate them and 4,33,884.6 kg of rice, 76,000 kg of dal and 2,820 litres of disinfectant were distributed at these camps. The government also dug over 22,000 tubewell for drinking water besides construction of 1,325 pit latrines at the camp site.


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