Assam Floods: Did Dhubri remain unaffected this time?
Representational image Credit: EastMojo image

Even as Assam slowly recovers from one of the worst floods in recent memory, Dhubri, a district infamous for the damage caused by floods, has emerged mostly unscathed. At least for now. But how? 

In Dhubri district, flood is a recurring disaster. Flanked by rivers and interstate and international borders, Dhubri is a very high-damage risk zone. 

Dhubri RAINFALL.jpg
Dhubri, like the rest of the state, received excess rainfall in June: Data courtesy: IMD

What is even more interesting is that as per the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the district witnessed 56% excess rainfall. This was in line with state trends: Assam witnessed 53% excess rainfall. So, Dhubri managed to mostly avoid floods despite higher-than-normal rainfall.

Experts point out that more than monsoons, it is the water discharged from the Kurichhu Dam, a river dam with an installed capacity of 60 MW, that causes floods.

When Assam’s northern neighbour Bhutan releases excess water from its 55-metre Kurichhu project plant reservoirs located at Gyalpozhing in the eastern part of Bhutan, it often leads to a rise in the Beki river, which flows through lower Assam before draining into the Brahmaputra resulting in a rise in the river water.

Mofaza Sarkar, an official from the Water Resources Department told EastMojo: “Yes, water was released from the Kurichhu Dam this year too, but its impact on our river embankments was not drastic this time but it is not as if we emerged unscathed. The rising water did damage one of our embankments on river Gaurang on June 16 at Jamudar Part 1 village under Chapar Revenue Circle.”

Relief packets distributed by MUKTi

He further stated: “The water in the district started exceeding the danger level from June 16, which continued till June 22, when the water started receding.”

Other officials pointed out that unlike other districts, Dhubri did not witness several embankments breaking, which helped limit losses.

But amid all this, locals point out that such is the scale of floods in Dhubri that even though they believe they were spared the damage witnessed in other parts of lower Assam like Barpeta, five people in the district still lost their lives.

The locals also thanked several non-governmental organizations (NGOs) which acted proactively and ensure relief as and where needed. MUKTi, a socio-cultural event group and an NGO, extended a helping hand. Anupam Roy, founder and president of the NGO, told EastMojo: “We tried our best to help as many people as possible by providing relief packages which constituted of water bottles, rice, dal, salt, sugar, tea-leaves, biscuits and garments in the affected areas.”

Locals, however, said just because they were spared this time did not mean they were not expecting things to change. Manjula Bibi, a house helper living in the Char area since her birth, stated: “For us, it is only in April that we don’t have to cross river water while going to the main town. We were lucky this time that the flood water didn’t enter our house but still, we are waiting for the government officials to fulfil their promise of installing an iron bridge in our area. this will not help us save money on boat fare but also help us escape floods as and when they arrive.”

Also read: One arrested for Barak embankment breach that led to Silchar flooding

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