GUWAHATI, July 12 � Expressing deep concern over the flood havoc in the river island Majuli where more than one lakh people have been rendered shelterless overnight besides loss of human and animal life, a Division Bench of the Assam Human Rights Commission (AHRC) comprising chairperson Justice Dr Aftab Hussain Saikia and Member Tarun Phookan has taken suo motu cognizance of the case on the basis of print and electronic media reports.
The AHRC also voiced alarm at the half-starved condition of the marooned people with inadequate relief and rehabilitation measures with supply between 500 to 1000 grams of rice and 50 to 100 grams of wheat per family by the local administration.
The AHRC issued notice to the Chief Secretary, Government of Assam, to cause an inquiry into allegations by an officer of the rank of an Additional Chief Secretary and a technical expert which would look into the problem of relief and rehabilitation faced by the people of the marooned and flood-affected people and see if such measures had been adequate, to examine the measures taken or proposed to be taken for controlling flood and erosion, the amount of money sanctioned and spent in anti-flood and anti-erosion works, particularly in repair and maintenance of the embankment and the stone spars which were washed away.
The Commission also asked to be informed of the names of officers/engineers of the Brahmaputra Board and Water Resources Department during the last five years in the division. The inquiry report and other information sought for by the Commission must be sent to it within 90 after receipt of the notice.
The AHRC was perturbed at the breach of about a 200-metre stretch of the 37-km-long embankment of Sonowal-Kochari section on the night of June 27, rendering about 1.3 lakh inhabitants homeless and destitute besides washing away almost all household belongings and thousands of cattle.
Equally alarming has been the washing away of the three stone spurs at Shalmora for construction of which an amount of Rs.31 crore had been released.
The AHRC took into account the fast shrinkage of the land area of Majuli � a hub of Assamese culture and a global tourist spot � triggered by unabated flood and erosion.
Flood damages apart, inadequate relief and rehabilitation measures by the local administration have been widely highlighted in different print and electronic media.
File photo of Dara Singh (centre) with Late RG Baruah (left) during one of his visits to Guwahati
to participate in wrestling exhibitions in aid of construction of Nehru Stadium.