TURA, July 31 - The devastating floods in the Garo Hills region has affected more than 1.76 lakh people specially in the plain belt areas mainly due to incessant rainfall across the North East leading to huge surge in the waters of the Brahmaputra.
After eight days of continuous water rise, affected victims have heaved a sigh of relief after water began to recede in most places. But return to normalcy may, however, take weeks, if not months.
�Thankfully, the rains have relented and there has been reduction of water levels across the region. We are trying to ensure the families affected are taken care of,� said Meghalaya Speaker and local MLA, AT Mondal.
Meanwhile, SG Esmatur Mominin (Rahibul), MDC of Shyamnagar constituency has raised the demand for providing Gratuitous Relief (GR) for a period of 30 days after a visit to the affected areas in the plain belt region of West Garo Hills.
The State Government earlier announced a 10 day GR for the affected families. A decision to continue with GR after 10 days will be taken after a review.
�We have visited most of the areas affected by the flood and the water may take about two months to completely clear. To help the flood victims we demand at least 30 days GR to be provided,� said Mominin.
�The flood affected areas under Phulbari, Rajabala and Tikrikilla has seen most roads submerged and thousands of houses are under water�, he added.
�Though water is reducing, it is still over danger levels. We desperately require fresh drinking water and temporary toilets,� said a flood victim camping by the AMPT Road near New Bhaitbari. Schools are also being used as temporary shelters while a sizeable number of people are also staying on roadside along with their animals.
Damage assessment is being carried out by the district administration and is expected to take weeks to complete, though initial reports have already been sent to the Centre.