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1 lakh affected by flood in Garo Hills

By Biplab Kr Dey

TURA, July 27 - The already grim flood situation in the plain belt of West Garo Hills (WGH) has turned worse as back flow of the mighty Brahmaputra is playing havoc. Rough estimates point to over two feet water rise which is likely to get worse.

A group of MLAs of Garo Hills region, including Speaker, AT Mondal, Supply Minister Clement Marak and Parliamentary Secretary Ashahel D Shira visited the affected areas to take stock of the situation. Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma, who was supposed to reach Phulbari after an aerial survey was unable to land due to there being no dry space to land the helicopter.

A meeting was later held between the district administration of West Garo Hills and the MLAs to review the situation.

Speaker AT Mondal said, �Climate change has caused huge upheavals in the environment and it seems like nature is evolving according to the damage being caused. We cannot guarantee that a repeat of 2014 flood will not happen this year or the next. We are doing everything to ensure the least number of people are affected.�

Clement, while announcing a 10-day gratuitous relief assured all assistance from the government to tide over the crisis. �Our government is doing everything it can to ensure the affected people are provided assistance�, he said.

Assessment is being done by various departments regarding the loss of livelihoods, agricultural goods as well as livestock and a complete report is being prepared.

DC of WGH, Pravin Bakshi stated that a total of 36 relief camps have been set up till date. The number of affected people is expected to very quickly cross one lakh with the administration still compiling reports of the extent of damage during the current flood.

Earlier, a visit to the affected places by the media and NGOs revealed the extent of damage caused by the rising waters, which is now threatening the entire plain belt region.

�Water has been rising since the past few days to alarming levels. It is expected to rise further and the people are being advised to either reach camps or higher ground for shelter. Most people are reluctant to leave their houses as they fear theft of their belongings,� said Samgar R Sangma, president of CEPARD.

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