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Flood-hit Assam stares at diseases

- Gogoi and Sonowal to survey inundated areas today

Aug. 26: The threat of water-borne diseases looms large over flood-hit Assam, particularly Dhemaji district. Chief minister Tarun Gogoi and Union minister of state Sarbananda Sonowal will survey the flood-affected areas in Upper Assam and north bank tomorrow.

The flood bulletin of the Assam State Disaster Management Authority today reported two more deaths, one in Lakhimpur and the other in Morigaon. About 12,65,449 people in 16 districts of the state have been affected so far.

The Brahmaputra was flowing above the danger level at Neematighat, Guwahati, Tezpur, Dhubri, Dibrugarh and Goalpara, the Subansiri at Badatighat in Lakhimpur, the Kopili in Nagaon and the Beki in Barpeta. The Puthimari was also flowing above the danger level in the state, the bulletin said.

Sources in the chief minister’s office said Gogoi would survey flood-hit Majuli in Jorhat district as well as Dhemaji and Lakhimpur districts on the north bank of the Brahmaputra in the morning.

Senior officials of the water resources, revenue and disaster management departments today briefed the chief minister on the issues confronting the flood-hit areas.

Gogoi’s visit will coincide with that of Sarbananda Sonowal, Union minister of state for sports, youth affairs and skill development, who will visit Majuli which falls under Lakhimpur Lok Sabha seat represented by him.

AICC secretary Bhupen Kumar Borah, who represents flood-hit Bihpuria Assembly constituency in Lakhimpur district, said they would submit a memorandum to Gogoi, seeking a hike in ex gratia to those whose houses have been washed away/damaged in the floods from Rs 5,000 to Rs 25,000. “We will also request him to release ex gratia to the families of those deceased in the flood at the earliest.”

The Assam PCC has directed its rank and file to visit the flood-affected areas in their respective districts and coordinate with the administration for relief and rehabilitation.

In Dhemaji district, water-borne diseases like diarrhoea have affected some inmates of relief camps.

Five-year-old Bhaiti Pegu of Tongani Majgaon who was suffering from pneumonia died at Dhemaji civil hospital last night.

Dhemaji deputy commissioner Monalisa Goswami said though the water level had receded, a majority of the villages were still submerged. “Medical teams have been put on alert in the 59 relief camps in the district,” she added.

Jorhat deputy commissioner Solanki Vishal Vasant said the water level of the Brahmaputra was receding in both Jorhat and Majuli but it was still flowing above the danger level.

Erosion by the Brahmaputra was reported from several areas of Majuli where the water was receding, damaging houses and agricultural land.

Laya Madduri, additional deputy commissioner holding charge of sub-divisional officer (civil) in Majuli, said about 40 families under three gaon panchayats — Ahotguri, Dakhin Ahotguri and Korotipar — had been shifted because of severe erosion.

But the ferry service between Majuli and Jorhat, which was suspended on Saturday, resumed today. Two persons got drowned in Majuli but these were not related to flood, she added.

The Dhubri administration, on the other hand, clamped a total ban on the movement of boats from today as the Brahmaputra’s water level rose. An official of Dhubri Inland Water Transport said the ban would remain in force till it falls below the danger level.

The Brahmaputra is flowing at 29.38m, .76m above the danger level, in Dhubri. The water level of Gangadhar, a tributary of the Brahmaputra, is falling, said an official of Dhubri divisional water resource department.


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