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Granary bank to tackle floods

Jorhat, Nov. 9: The Tinsukia district administration has decided to set up a common granary bank and a shelter house on a raised platform in each village in the highly flood-prone villages in the district, to tide over the difficult situation during the rainy season.

In a novel initiative by the administration, likely to be first of its kind in Assam, the district administration has identified 22 villages across the flood-prone district.

The villages are in Sadiya subdivision on the north bank of the Brahmaputra, and in Doomdooma and Tinsukia revenue circles under Tinsukia Sadar subdivision.

“Flood for a week damage the harvest of a year of a farmer. Therefore, we have come up with this new idea so that the villagers can save their agricultural produce and also take shelter during the floods,” Tinsukia deputy commissioner S.S. Meenakshi Sundaram told The Telegraph today.

He said the aim of the plan was to minimise the heavy economic losses the farmers incur during floods that destroy standing crops and the grain stored in the thatched granaries normally built in the backyard of their houses in the villages.

He said the administration has submitted Rs 40-crore proposal to Dispur recently, according to instructions by chief minister Tarun Gogoi, who had asked them to prepare a comprehensive plan to minimise the damages caused by floods.

Sundaram said the proposal is part of the Rs 180 crore scheme submitted to the government to reconstruct and repair all kinds of damages by floods earlier this year.

Each flood-hit village will get a common granary on RCC platform of at least three meters height from the ground at a site to be selected by the PWD in consultation with the villagers.

The roof of the granary will be made of tin sheets and it will have shelves to keep the agricultural produce.

The size of a granary will depend on the population of the village. The local gaon panchayat will be responsible for maintaining the granary.

The National Disaster Response Force and the State Disaster Response Force personnel will train them.

The shelter house will be constructed on a raised platform of at least three-metre height to be made up of silt deposited in the village during floods. He said the shelter would be rectangular in shape with half of the area to have a tin roof and other half to remain open. The covered portion will be to house flood-hit people while the open space will be to allow air dropping of essential items and for landing of helicopters for emergency evacuation of people.

Villagers could keep their cattle in the unroofed area, while the size of the shelter house will also depend on the population of the village, Sundaram added.