| A submerged house in Garo hills. Telegraph picture |
Shillong, July 11: A Garo hills legislator has sought central assistance to mitigate the misery caused by floods in Meghalaya.
Senior Congress leader and Rajabala legislator Sayeedullah Nongrum’s plea follows a central relief package of Rs 500 crore for Assam where remorseless floods have caused extensive damages.
“The Centre should at least grant Rs 50 crore, if not Rs 100 crore or Rs 500 crore, to the plain belt areas, especially to renovate dilapidated roads,” he told this correspondent over phone.
The plain belt areas of Garo hills had reeled under floods during the first week of this month, affecting around 100 villages, 14,000 households and 75,000 as floodwaters from the Brahmaputra entered the low-lying areas.
Some of the most affected villages were Nolbari, Paham, Nayagaon, Rajabala, Pattranga, Ambari, Silkandi, Gudibala, Nayapara, Islampur, Bholarbita, Silkata, Namabilla, Haripur, Sakmal, Charkacharipara.
The floods, apart from temporarily displacing the populace, also wreaked havoc on roads. Nongrum said in his constituency, the stretch from Teen Muni to Gasbari (the stretch has a PMGSY road and an NEC road), from Namabila to Phersakandi via Magurmaari, from Sidakandi to Phersakandi (NEC road) and from Balachanda to Mangsim via Bhajamara had been extensively damaged.
“These roads were in an awful condition even before the onset of floods. Floodwaters compounded the damage. At least one lakh people have been affected by the damage caused to the roads as travelling has become a thankless job,” the senior legislator said.
Nongrum has appealed to the Centre to grant financial assistance to restore the roads. “If not the state government, the Centre should step in and provide help,” he said.
The West Garo Hills district administration has issued instructions to assess the extent of damage caused by the perennial floods.
Deputy commissioner Pravin Bakshi said officials from agriculture, horticulture, public health engineering, animal husbandry and veterinary and fisheries departments were still on the job. He added that community fishery ponds have been extensively damaged because of heavy silting.