Sept. 7: Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Nabam Tuki today undertook an aerial survey of areas affected by flash floods in the eastern part of the frontier state.
He was accompanied by chief secretary Hari Krishna Paliwal and secretary, disaster management, Kapa Kholie.
Reports said the Noa Dihing was flowing above the danger level and had inundated portions of Dumpani and four other villages under Diyun circle in Changlang district. At least 13,246 people of 11 villages have been affected by the current wave of floods.
Responding to a plea for adequate funds to tackle the situation urgently, Tuki announced Rs 2.5 crore for emergency relief, particularly at Dumpani village, and directed Kholie to release the same to the district administration by Monday. The administration has provided 10,000 gunny bags to villagers for building temporary embankments/bunds at vulnerable locations. At least 10 families living near the river bank have been directed to shift to safer locations for which necessary assistance is being provided to them.
Tuki then took an aerial survey of all affected areas at Namsai, Chowkham, Mahadevpur and Tezu in Lohit district, Roing and Dambuk in Lower Dibang Valley and Mebo and Pasighat areas in East Siang district.
In Assam, with the waters of the Brahmaputra rising for the past three days, the river island of Majuli was cut off from the mainland for the second consecutive day today with ferry services to and from Jorhat being suspended.
A source in the Central Water Commission said this was because of heavy rains in Pasighat.
Nearly 50 families have been displaced in Majuli and are taking shelter in high places. The most affected part of the island is Salmara, known for its pottery and boat-making industry.
Schools in the riverine areas remained closed because of the rising water level, which has also affected about 1,000 hectares of cropland.
Nearly 50 families have been displaced and are taking shelter in high places.
Punya Saikia, a resident of Majuli, said all the areas lying beyond the embankment were flooded and if the water rises, as it has in the last three days, there was the danger of the Brahmaputra breaching its embankment and the whole island getting flooded.
“A majority of villages lie outside the embankment area which lies like a protective ring around the island. However, the bund has been breached on more than one occasion in the past. If this happens, there will be total devastation,” he said, adding that the Tekeliphotoa bund and Kamalabari-Auniati road faced the danger of being breached.
The most affected part of the island is Salmara, which is known for its pottery and boat-making industry. Salmara is located in an especially low-lying area and about 40 to 50 families have shifted temporarily atop the embankment.
In Bongaon, 15 families have temporarily made the Bongaon ranga mancha (a high stage where dramas and other events are performed) their home. Bitupan Pegu, a Salmara resident, alleged that the shoddy work of the Brahmaputra Board in laying four boulder spurs commissioned in 2009 had compounded the problem.
“This place could have been better protected had the two boulder spurs not sunk several feet as soon as current in the Brahmaputra increased after monsoon,” Pegu said
A few weeks ago, the AASU unit of Majuli staged a protest against the board planning to use sand-filled cement bags instead of geo bags as they had fallen short of the material by several thousands allegedly because of a miscalculation.
Schools in these areas are no longer accessible with floodwaters partially submerging them.
The Central Water Commission said the Brahmaputra was flowing at 86.68 metre in Jorhat, more than one-and-a-half metre above the danger level of 85.04 metre. In Dibrugarh, it is flowing at 105.64 metre, almost at the danger level of 105.70 metre.
A source in the commission said this was because of heavy rains in the Pasighat area of Arunachal Pradesh.
While the Brahmaputra showed a receding trend today, the Indian meteorological division website predicts rain and thunderstorms in Pasighat in the next four days, which may result in a rise in the water level and flooding of Majuli.