SILCHAR: A picture with a post uploaded on the official page of the Cachar district administration on social media, about the arrangement of potable water for flood-affected people of Madhurbond in Silchar, has now become a “cynosure of mockery”.
The picture, uploaded on Facebook on Tuesday, shows a man receiving a “tiny” water pouch from another person (possibly an official of the district administration). A short description with the picture says “1000 water pouches have been given for distribution amongst the flood affected people in Modhurbond area”.
Soon after it was uploaded, the post garnered attention with netizens fusillading missiles of criticism at the administration through hilarious comments for its ‘initiative’ of providing water to people.
Uploaded on Tuesday afternoon, the post received over 1K reactions, over 400 comments and was shared 280 times till 10:20pm on Tuesday night.
The post, interestingly, could not be found late at night and it is presumed that it was deleted or hidden between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.
One of the users wrote – “HANDLE WITH CARE. If it falls then another flood will be there in Silchar.” Another user said – “Someone took the lines ‘Do boond jindegi ki’ very seriously
Another person wrote in Sylheti (a dialect of Bengali spoken in Barak Valley) – “Aita diya 1 peg o hoito na bhala koriya, r manush re khawar liga der, loijja thaka dorkar” (This will not be enough to make even one peg and you are giving this to people to drink. Have some shame). Another man commented – “Please arrange a dropper with this pouch”.
Some people, however, narrated their pitiable condition (via comments) and urged the authorities to help them in this period of crisis. A netizen wrote – “Dada plz visit Bilpar sandikir par house no 5 rent r 3 family condition is very bad no food no water plz held
Another user said – “No relief material is being distributed in the byelanes of Dascolony. How will the senior citizens come out to purchase in this deep water.? 2 packet biscuit and 4 ltr water given in 8 days.” (sic).
A user expressed concern about the use of plastic pouches and tried to draw the administration’s attention over the matter. She wrote – “Don’t you think this plastic will add to the clogging of the roads and bring in more problems once the water recedes. Will the citizens dispose the plastic safely? secondly, how good is the water in the pouch?”
On being contacted for a reaction, Cachar deputy commissioner Keerthi Jalli told EastMojo that the administration is trying multiple options to provide water to flood-affected people. “We are trying multiple options. Some packets, some bottles, some tankers, some airdrop. We are trying all means,” the deputy commissioner said.
Silchar, the biggest urban sprawl in Assam after Guwahati, has faced the most devastating flood in its history. Most of the areas in the town have been under water for the past one week. The situation has improved a bit with waters receding in a few places, however, people in many localities are still stuck inside houses without electricity, food, drinking water and other essentials.
As per allegations from various quarters, water bottles (one litre bottle which normally costs Rs. 20) were sold at Rs. 100 in many areas in Silchar when the flood situation was at its worst last week. In some places, people had to buy the same at even higher prices.
Chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma visited the town twice last week and instructed the administration officials to ensure relief items are provided to the flood-hit people properly.
During his first visit (during this flood) to Silchar on June 23, Himanta had said one lakh water bottles would be brought by special IAF aircrafts from Guwahati to Silchar everyday.
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