| Villagers take shelter on an embankment in Majuli on Wednesday. Picture by UB Photos |
Jorhat, July 11: People of the flood-hit Kamjan village under Bongaon panchayat on Majuli island today staged a sit-in in front of the panchayat office in protest against inadequate relief materials.
The villagers said apart from 600gm of rice and 100gm of pulses, which was given to them about a week back, no other relief materials were provided to them till date.
“Flood waters have swept away everything we had, but we have not been provided with any relief materials till today, apart from a meagre packet containing rice and pulses, and that too, only once,” Tulsi Das, an elderly resident of the village, told The Telegraph over phone.
He said Kamjan is on the eastern-most tip of the island and the villagers are still marooned, with most of the roads leading to the village being washed away.
“We heard that the administration has been distributing relief materials only in Salmara and Sonowal Kachari. Our village has been totally neglected. We will have to starve if no relief is provided to us soon,” he said.
Another villager, Manik Kalita, said although most of the families have returned to their houses after spending several days on the embankment, their dwellings were destroyed by floodwaters.
“We need tarpaulins, mosquito nets and materials to repair our houses, but nothing has been provided to us,” he said.
The villagers, after staging the demonstration for over five hours, received an assurance from the panchayat office that their grievances would be looked into and something would be done within the next couple of days.
Majuli subdivisional officer (civil) S.R. Khanikor, however, said the allegation of the villagers was totally baseless and relief materials had been provided to them regularly.
“Actually these villagers wanted a special kit that was distributed by Rotary International yesterday. We distributed these special kits to 126 families of the worst-hit Sonowal Kachari and Salmara. Kamjan is not one of the worst-affected villages. We should ensure that the people who have lost everything during the floods get a better deal,” Khanikor said.
He said the eight families in Sonowal-Kachari and about 100 families in Salmara have lost everything in the floods.
The special kit distributed by Rotary International yesterday contained 52 items, including a tent, a stove, utensils, a lamp, blankets, buckets, mugs and others.