Assam flood toll 82, waters begin to recede
The flood situation in Assam showed a marked improvement on Saturday, but a message from an official of Kurichu dam in neighbouring Bhutan about releasing excess water has sparked apprehensions in downstream lower Assam.
The dam will be releasing excess water for the second time this week. It had on Thursday morning released 1,200 cumecs in a controlled manner which softened the impact on the downstream districts of Barpeta, Baksa, Nalbari, Bongaigaon and Chirang which were already grappling with overflowing rivers.
The district project officer of the District Disaster Management Authority of Barpeta, Nandita Dutta, told The Telegraph: “We have received a message that neighbouring Bhutan will release excess water from its Kurichu dam once again. It is a cause of concern, but we are prepared to meet any eventuality.”
The message from a dam official, according to Dutta, said: “The Kuri chhu has reached inflow of more than 1000 metre cube per second, and it is expected to rise further due to continuous rainfall in the catchment area as per the information from upstream water level and weather monitoring station and same will be discharged through the spillway gates.” The dam is about 30km from Barpeta Road in Assam and will release water for a second time in a week. The toll in Assam floods reached 82 on Saturday with report of a person’s death in Barpeta. Altogether 56 revenue circles, 18 districts and 21.68 lakh population are affected. Over 996,000 are taking shelter in 664 relief camps.
The deputy commissioner of Bongaigaon, Adil Khan, said: “The flood situation has improved. The authorities have visited the affected areas to ensure that people get necessary help. Rehabilitation work has geared up. We have received a message that about 1,000 cumecs will be released, but this much water can be easily absorbed if there is no excess rainfall.” Khan also said that erosion is a serious problem now and the move to check erosion by the Aie river at Jaraguri has started.
The district project officer of the DDMA, Kokrajhar, Kamal Kishore Hazarika, said: “Though the flood situation has improved, erosion by the Gangiaya river has washed away 20 families of Shikarbil village under Dotma revenue circle.” Erosion is wreaking havoc in Lakhimpur, Udalguri and Baksa districts.
The Brahmaputra continued to flow above the danger level in two districts, at Neematighat in Jorhat district and Dhubri, the Desang in Sivasagar, the Jia Bharali in Sonitpur, the Puthimari in Kamrup, the Manas in Barpeta, the Beki in Barpeta and the Kushiyara at Karimganj.
Flood relief: Uttarakhand chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, who had donated Rs 5 crore to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund on Friday, in a tweet to his Assam counterpart Sarbananda Sonowal said: “The token help from our state is about recognising the challenges that we all face due to these disasters. And it is our duty to contribute towards the cause of relief in #AssamFloods, request everyone to do their bit for Assam and help in relief and rehabilitation.”
Numaligarh Refinery Ltd has contributed Rs 1 crore, representatives of Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (Digboi and Guwahati) handed over Rs 16.36 lakh and Rs 8.16 lakh.