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Dams, not Rain God, causing floods

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Sept 3 � The belief that the raging floods, which have become more frequent in the district of Lakhimpur, are caused by the sudden release of stored water from the hills of Arunachal Pradesh is gaining more ground among people in the village areas of the district every passing day. People are becoming argumentative on the issue in a growing manner.

This was the finding of Kit Shangpliang of the Christian aid organisation World Vision India, who travelled the flood-ravaged areas of Lakhimpur district during the flood time early-August last as a relief staff.

Shangpliang said in a write-up mailed to this newspaper��Naren Barua, a farmer of Panigaon area in Lakhimpur district, argues that no amount of rain can flood his area but the water-released from the dam in the neighbouring hilly state of Arunachal Pradesh had, without a doubt, caused the floods.�

The farmer has argued, �Earlier, when it rained for weeks in the previous years in Arunachal and Assam, we never experienced flooding. This time, it rained for three days in both the states and the power company took the opportunity to release the dam water and it flooded.�

Shangpliang writes, �No one from Naren�s village has officially asked this question to the North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO), a public enterprise that runs the 405-MW Ranganadi Hydroelectric Plant. Even if someone asks these questions � the standard response from the power company can be speculated. �They will blame the rain for it�, predicts Naren.

It was a moonlit night after dinner, Pradeep Baruah, an enterprising farmer and father of three looked at the picturesque scene of coconut trees standing next to him blending with his rice fields at a distance. Little did he know that on the same night, raging waters from the foothills would destroy the paddy he had grown on his fifteen acres of farmland!

Pradeep�s youngest daughter Parismita remembers how on that dreadful night, the family stayed awake till the break of dawn. And in the twilight hours of the dawn, Parismita�s father opened the door only to see with his own eyes that the paddy he was nurturing for the last about two months, were ravaged by floodwater.

�Not a single thing is left in my field, all gone � I returned to my house, my voice was choked and I couldn�t speak to my wife,� he explained. In a state of shock, ten days after the flood, Parismita�s mother still continued asking, �Will I be still able to raise my children?�

Ten days after the first flooding, Parismita�s school was still filled with sand and there was no way they could reopen the school in time.

The floodwater of Ranganadi breached the embankment at Panigoan sometime in the month of July this year, forcing many people to flee their homes. While emotions ran high, the people also seemed to accept the will of the rain gods. But series of evidence reveal that this is more of a man-made disaster than a natural calamity.

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Dams, not Rain God, causing floods

GUWAHATI, Sept 3 � The belief that the raging floods, which have become more frequent in the district of Lakhimpur, are caused by the sudden release of stored water from the hills of Arunachal Pradesh is gaining more ground among people in the village areas of the district every passing day. People are becoming argumentative on the issue in a growing manner.

This was the finding of Kit Shangpliang of the Christian aid organisation World Vision India, who travelled the flood-ravaged areas of Lakhimpur district during the flood time early-August last as a relief staff.

Shangpliang said in a write-up mailed to this newspaper��Naren Barua, a farmer of Panigaon area in Lakhimpur district, argues that no amount of rain can flood his area but the water-released from the dam in the neighbouring hilly state of Arunachal Pradesh had, without a doubt, caused the floods.�

The farmer has argued, �Earlier, when it rained for weeks in the previous years in Arunachal and Assam, we never experienced flooding. This time, it rained for three days in both the states and the power company took the opportunity to release the dam water and it flooded.�

Shangpliang writes, �No one from Naren�s village has officially asked this question to the North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO), a public enterprise that runs the 405-MW Ranganadi Hydroelectric Plant. Even if someone asks these questions � the standard response from the power company can be speculated. �They will blame the rain for it�, predicts Naren.

It was a moonlit night after dinner, Pradeep Baruah, an enterprising farmer and father of three looked at the picturesque scene of coconut trees standing next to him blending with his rice fields at a distance. Little did he know that on the same night, raging waters from the foothills would destroy the paddy he had grown on his fifteen acres of farmland!

Pradeep�s youngest daughter Parismita remembers how on that dreadful night, the family stayed awake till the break of dawn. And in the twilight hours of the dawn, Parismita�s father opened the door only to see with his own eyes that the paddy he was nurturing for the last about two months, were ravaged by floodwater.

�Not a single thing is left in my field, all gone � I returned to my house, my voice was choked and I couldn�t speak to my wife,� he explained. In a state of shock, ten days after the flood, Parismita�s mother still continued asking, �Will I be still able to raise my children?�

Ten days after the first flooding, Parismita�s school was still filled with sand and there was no way they could reopen the school in time.

The floodwater of Ranganadi breached the embankment at Panigoan sometime in the month of July this year, forcing many people to flee their homes. While emotions ran high, the people also seemed to accept the will of the rain gods. But series of evidence reveal that this is more of a man-made disaster than a natural calamity.