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Man dies in season’s first wave of floods

Dhemaji/Guwahati, July 9: The Dhemaji district administration today confirmed the death of Bikash Baidya, who was washed away by floodwaters of the Dimow river.

Hundreds of flood-hit people are taking shelter on embankments and elevated ground, as the administration is yet to set up shelter camps.

Baidya, a 30-year-old resident of Karoibari village under Silapathar police station, drowned yesterday.

Dhemaji deputy commissioner Monalisha Goswami, who visited the flood-affected areas today, confirmed Baidya’s death. The body is yet to be traced.

Nearly 3,000 people have been left homeless in Dhemaji district because of the floods so far.

According to the flood bulletin of Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) in Guwahati, a total of 11,471 people in 44 villages in Dhemaji and neighbouring Lakhimpur district have so far been affected by this season’s first wave of floods.

The villages hit by floods in Dhemaji district are under Jonai, Dhemaji, Gogamukh and Sissiborgaon revenue circles, while those in Lakhimpur are in Subansiri, Nowboicha and Kadam revenue circles.

The bulletin said floodwater had destroyed crops in lower Assam’s Nalbari district as well.

Citing a report of the Central Water Commission, the ASDMA bulletin said the Brahmaputra at Neematighat in Jorhat district, Jia Bharali in Sonitpur and Beki in Barpeta district were flowing above the danger level.

Many in Dhemaji district had to leave their homes as the Dimow and Simen rivers inundated villages under Jonai and Dhemaji sub-divisions.

The water level of the two rivers started receding today but many who became homeless had no option but to live on the embankments.

Many were struggling without relief materials.

The deputy commissioner, when asked about providing relief material to those affected by the floods, said the administration was planning to arrange this.

Many in Chengajan Bangali, Koroibari, Somkong and Bogorichapori under Jonai subdivision were struggling because of the floodwaters that affected their villages.

The village headman of Somkong, Sib Lal Boro, told The Telegraph today that they had not received any relief materials and no camps had been set up by the administration to provide shelter to the affected people.

“We are trying to calculate the exact number of people affected by the flood so far. Floods have badly hit cattle and crops,” Boro said.

The Dimow inundated 15 villages of Mukhtiar panchaywhere Baidya was washed away.

The All Assam Bengali Students’ Federation today demanded compensation for Baidya’s family.

Dhemaji and Lakhimpur, bordering Arunachal Pradesh, have been among the worst affected districts.

Rainwater coming down from the hills of neighbouring Arunachal Pradesh added to their woes.

With the water level of major rivers in Dhemaji receding today, erosion has been reported at many places, resulting in loss of cropland.