Dark clouds gather over Guwahati on Wednesday. Picture by UB Photos
Guwahati, July 3: Dispur has sounded a red alert in Sonitpur, North Lakhimpur, Golaghat and Barpeta districts after a report from the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) that there might be 488mm rainfall in the next three to four days.
Official sources said chief minister Tarun Gogoi discussed the flood and erosion problem with water resources minister Rajib Lochan Pegu and officials of the department concerned. He directed them to take precautionary measures and move the people living near the riverbanks to safer places.
Gogoi also called for a widespread campaign to create awareness among the people living near the riverbanks.
According to the flood report of the Assam State Disaster Management Authority, the Brahmaputra is flowing above the danger level at Neematighat, Dhansiri at Numaligarh and Jia Bharali in Sonitpur district.
Thirteen districts and around 27,376 people have been affected in the floods so far. Altogether 166 villages have been affected and 2,304.83 hectares of crop area has been damaged.
In Dhemaji district, most of the roads and Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana schemes have been affected in the floods.Several roads are either partially or fully submerged, several road embankments have been eroded and approaches of bridge and culverts have been washed away by the floodwaters.
The deputy commissioners of the districts where the alert has been sounded have been asked to prepare for emergencies.
The problem of erosion also figured in the meeting.
Officials of the water resources department apprised the chief minister of the erosion at Neematighat, Morigaon, North Lakhimpur, Dhakuakhana and at Beki in Barpeta district.
Gogoi asked the department to take up emergency protection on a war footing.
As a long-term measure, he asked the department to make a thorough study of the problem and to involve experts.
The chief minister also discussed the price rise of fish, egg, chicken and other commodities with officials of the food and civil supplies department and asked the department to take action against those responsible for the abnormal rise in the prices of commodities.
The Kamrup (metro) administration today fixed the retail price of broiler chicken at Rs 100 per kg following a meeting with market committees here.
“We fixed the retail price of broiler chicken at Rs 100 per kg based on an inspection carried out by our teams recently. While some variations were there, it was found that wholesalers were selling chicken for Rs 90 per kg while retailers were charging Rs 100. The price has stabilised now,” Kamrup (metro) deputy commissioner Ashutosh Agnihotri told The Telegraph today. He said the rates had increased abnormally last month because of a scarcity of the commodity. “Sometimes the scarcity is genuine but at times, unscrupulous elements take undue advantage and create it,” he added.
The retail rates of broiler chicken here had touched Rs 180 per kg in June but decreased marginally by the third week of last month.
“The rate fixed by the administration is fair enough but any further decrease will affect local poultry farmers whose production cost is about Rs 90 per kg,” said Dakhin Guwahati Khusura Broiler Bikri Santha secretary Md Anowar Hussain.
Poultry farmers said the move would eat into their profit margins.
“Currently, it costs me around Rs 83 to produce 1kg of chicken. So, I will have to sell broiler chicken to wholesalers at lower profits,” said Joon Mali, a poultry farmer at Mirza.
The administration’s monitoring committee also visited the Paltan Bazar wholesale fish market today and found 1kg rohu bearing eggs selling for 100 per kg, those between 1.25kg and 1.5kg for Rs 115 per kg, those with eggs and weighing 1.25kg for Rs 105 and those between 1.5kg and 1.75kg for Rs 120 per kg.
Moreover, bhokua with eggs and weighing between 2kg and 2.2kg was being sold for Rs 130 per kg and those above 2.2kg for Rs 140 per kg.