| Villagers use a banana raft to negotiate floodwaters in Titabar on Saturday. Picture by UB Photos |
Jorhat, Aug. 10: Flash floods from the Kokodonga and Chengelijan have inundated large tracts of cropland and about 30 villages in Titabar, known as the rice bowl of Assam and also the chief minister’s home constituency.
Marooned villagers are travelling on rafts made of bamboo or banana trunks.
A statement issued by the Assam State Disaster Management Authority here today said more than 50,000 people in Jorhat, Golaghat, Lakhimpur and Dhemaji districts have been affected.
While the Dhansiri is flowing above the danger level at Numaligarh in Golaghat district, the Puthimari is overflowing in Kamrup district.
Guti Bhuyan, a villager of Kumarbhetti, under Ikorani gaon panchayat, said over phone that more than 100 people were taking shelter at Kumarbhetti LP School but relief material was inadequate.
“Yesterday chief minister Tarun Gogoi and water resources minister Rajiv Lochan Pegu visited Titabar but neither of them visited this area. Today the sub deputy collector tried to come with relief material but could not make it up to this point due to the floodwaters,” he said.
Bhuyan alleged that the relief material given to the flood-affected was inadequate and neither DDT nor any other repellent had been sprayed in the water. “Even the phenyl they brought yesterday was not distributed,” he alleged.
“I have lost all my crops and so have most other farmers in my village. We do not know whether we will be compensated,” he said.
The worst-affected villages here are Naobhetta, Kumarbhetta, Mandal Gaon and Japori Sook.
In another part of Titabar bordering Golaghat district, a huge tract of land has been flooded by water from the Kakodonga. This area includes Natun Mati-Kopuwating and the Sokiting tea estate.
“This is an annual affair but the water usually drains out after one or two days. This time, the water has been stagnant for the past 14 days and all crops, including tea bushes, are submerged,” Dipu Bora, a resident of the area, said.
As fields submerged, locals are moving out to other places to earn a living as daily wage earners.
K.K. Gogoi, Titabar SDO (civil) said relief materials were being sent daily ever since the relief camp had been set up three days ago. “At least 200 people have been given relief. Many, who are not that affected come out as soon as they see the relief carrying vehicle. We have given phenyl to those who are staying in the camp but not to every villager.”
Regarding the DDT, he said it would be sprayed once the water recedes. “Though today is a second Saturday, I am in office sending relief material to Naobhetta and to Nam Soongi,” he added.
He said Titabar has been flooded almost after six years.
“Titabar is not a flood prone area and we usually do not witness floods to this extent. The rest of Assam may have got deficient rainfall but in Jorhat and Golaghat districts, rainfall has been heavy,” he said.