| A submerged house in Garo hills. Telegraph picture |
Shillong, Sept. 30: Hopes of economic recovery for the people residing in the plains belt of Garo hills took a blow after several hundred acres of standing crops were completely destroyed in the second wave of floods in the area.
“The damage to households and crops is more severe this time, though fewer houses were completely inundated,” West Garo Hills deputy commissioner Pravin Bakshi said today.
Around 100 villages have been affected so far, while the official count of displaced people is nearly 91,000.
It is also the first time that the entire plains belt from Hallidayganj up to Nidanpur has been completely submerged by the Jingiram river.
Some of the affected villages include Sapalgiri, Bandhabok, Rajabala, Garodubi, Magurmari, Phershakandi, Bhotdoba, Namabilla, Haripur, Nalbari, Nayagaon, Old Morasuti, New Bhaitbari, Sidakandi, Bharalgaon, Ambari, Patranga, Kalagaon, Sakmal and Nekikona.
Just two months ago, the area had reeled under floods, as 114 villages were fully or partially inundated and more than one lakh people affected.
“The recent wave of floods after the recurring floods in Assam has increased the misery of the people and wiped out hopes of an early recovery,” Bakshi said.
Farmers have made a demand to waive off Kisan Credit Card loans for this fiscal because of the crop damage.
The inundation occurred as a result of flash floods after the water levels in the Jingiram rose because of a swelling Brahmaputra in neighbouring Dhubri district of Assam.
The district administration has set up 14 relief camps in lower primary and upper primary schools on higher land.
The affected people are being advised to take shelter in the camps but some have moved out with their belongings to dry areas at a higher altitude or onto the roads, from where they can monitor their submerged houses.
Moreover, the district administration has geared up to provide gratuitous relief for five days, which includes 600 gram of rice, 100g dal, 30g salt and 50ml of mustard oil for adults and 400g rice with similar amount of the other items for minors.
Safe pit latrines will also be constructed wherever necessary while medical teams have been put on alert.
The Solartek-Majhipara embankment will be repaired and steps initiated to prepare flood and erosion control projects.