The floods have started receding in most districts of Assam, but with over 1100 villages in 17 districts still under water, the overall flood situation in the state continued to be grim. With five more deaths reported on Monday, the total number of human lives lost in the current floods has risen to 65.
The Brahmaputra water-level has gone down the red mark in Dibrugarh, Jorhat, Biswanath, Tezpur, Guwahati and Goalpara, with official reports saying it was flowing above the danger level only in Dhubri. The Barak river in southern Assam however continued to flow above the red mark, as also several tributaries of the Brahmaputra, including the Dhansiri in Golaghat district.
In Morigaon district, where the Brahmaputra had caused a major breach on a newly-constructed embankment on Saturday night, at least three persons had died after being washed away by the floods on Monday, official reports said. One death each was also reported from Goalpara and Golaghat district during the day.
Meanwhile, authorities on Monday afternoon sounded an alert in North Lakhimpur town and adjoining villages in the wake of the North-Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO) informing that it would release a huge quantity of water from its Ranganadi hydro-electric project in Arunachal Pradesh. This has caused panic, especially as several thousand people in the district had only last week suffered major loss of property, crop and animals because of a similar water release by NEEPCO.
While the flood-affected people have started leaving relief camps for their homes in several districts, severe shortage of safe drinking water, food, medicine and cloth have rung alarm bells, prompting chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal to direct deputy commissioners in the affected districts to ensure that every flood-affected family was provided with relief materials without delay.
“All deputy commissioners must ensure that every family affected by the current floods is provided relief materials without delay. People who are not in relief camps but affected by floods nevertheless must also be provided relief,” Sonowal said after a review of the flood situation through video-conferencing here on Monday afternoon.
Sonowal also instructed the officials to take steps to prevent outbreak of diseases in the aftermath of the floods. Farmers in the flood-affected areas should also be provided quality seeds for cultivation immediately after the water receded, he said.
Several NGOs meanwhile have launched a collection drive for relief materials including water, food, cloth and medicine for the flood-affected people. On Monday, popular singer and musician Zubeen Garg launched a road-show to collect funds and relief materials for the flood-affected people, while Northeast Frontier Railway offered 2500 cartons of packaged drinking water bottles.