Kaziranga National Park imposes speed restrictions for vehicles moving on NH-37 over protection of animals; over 30% areas of Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary under water
Guwahati: The flood situation in Assam has taken turn for the worse with over 8 lakh residents from 1,556 villages covering 68 revenue circles in 21 districts of the state getting affected till Friday evening.
Three persons have already lost their lives due to flood and landslide in the districts of Golaghat and Dima Hasao in the past 24 hours.
Brahmaputra in Jorhat, Sonitpur, Kamrup, Goalpara and Dhubri districts; Burhidehing in Dibrugarh, Desang in Sivasagar; Dhansiri in Golaghat; Jia Bharali in Sonitpur; Kopili in Nagaon; Puthimari in Kamrup; Beki in Barpeta; Katakhal in Hailakandi and Kushiyara in Karimganj districts are flowing above the danger mark.
The 21 districts which have been adversely affected due to flood are Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Biswanath, Sonitpur, Darrang, Baksa, Barpeta, Nalbari, Chirang, Bongaigaon, Kokrajhar, Goalpara, Morigaon, Hojai, Nagaon, Golaghat, Majuli, Jorhat, Sibsagar, Dibrugarh and Tinsukia.
Meanwhile, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) teams have been pressed into service in the flood-affected areas for search and rescue operations.
At present, 68 numbers of relief camps are operational in Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Baksa, Nalbari, Chirang, Kokrajhar, Golaghat, Majuli, Jorhat, Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districts with 7,643 inmates and 48 relief distribution centres in the districts of Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Nalbari, Golaghat, Majuli, Jorhat and Tinsukia districts.
In terms of the advanced impacts on the population, Barpeta has recorded the highest number of flood–hit people with over 1 lakh, followed by Dhemaji with 90,000 people. Lakhimpur, Bongaigaon, Majuli, etc, are among the worst-hit flood-hit districts of the state so far.
Incessant rain and waters gushing down from Meghalaya have worsened the flood situation in Goalpara district. About 100 people were rescued with the help of the SDRF in the district.
Flood waters have also entered the Kaziranga National Park (KNP) and nearly over 6% of the park area is under water. Animals are taking shelter on the highlands in the park.
Meanwhile, the authorities concerned in the KNP have imposed speed restrictions for vehicles moving on NH-37 that touches the park’s southern boundary to prevent animals from being hit while crossing the highway in search of higher grounds and food.
On the other hand, over 30% of Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary areas have been inundated due to flood till Friday evening. Various forests camps have been submerged creating massive problems for the forest guards in the sanctuary. However, the state forest officials deputed in the sanctuary are all set to face challenges by using one country-made boat, four speed boats and some hand boats.
Earlier on Thursday, chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal stressed on the need to ensure adequate medical services to flood affected people, and asked the deputy commissioners contact the director of health services if there is any shortage of doctors in their respective districts. He also instructed them to take steps for adequate care for animals affected by flood and arrange fodder for them.
Chief minister Sonowal further asked the power department to take all necessary measures to prevent incidents of electrocution which may take place due to negligence of departmental officials. Besides, in case of any casualty in flood, he directed the DCs to release the one time financial assistance to the next of kin of the victim immediately.
Meanwhile, expressing serious concern over the failure of the authorities concerned to provide relief materials, flood-hit people in large numbers blocked the NH-31C intersection at Rakhaldubi in Bongaigaon district on Friday. Hundreds of vehicles were stranded for hours due to the blockade. Senior district administration officials have rushed to the spot to control the situation.