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Flood situation critical in Goalpara, Biswanath

By Correspondent

GOALPARA, July 16 - The overall flood situation�in Goalpara district�remains critical. But the water level of the Brahmaputra has started receding.

According to an official flood bulletin released on Wednesday, 4,27,728 people have been affected by the current wave of flood in the district. In a bid to speed up relief operations, a total of 37 relief camps have been set up by the district administration sheltering 6,205 people. Also, 11,22,1.62 hectares of crop land, 65,780 big animals, 36,915 small animals and 87,191 poultry have been affected by the present deluge. A total of 54,264 quintals of rice, 10,239 quintals of dal, 3.0717 quintals of salt and 307.17 litres of edible oil have been distributed among the flood-ravaged people.

This correspondent, after taking a tour by a boat through the flood waters in Baladmari char,�one of the worst-hit areas located�adjacent to Goalpara town along the banks of the Brahmaputra, saw�thousands�of marooned�people, a majority of them still living in their houses submerged by rising water and unwilling to move out to safer places for the fear that unknown persons�or thieves may�target and decamp with the valuables from their homes.

The people had�problems in getting clean and potable water and other food items even though they are reluctant to move to relief camps or to safer places on high grounds.

Binita Das, a resident of Baladmari, along with her five family members has taken shelter in their cowshed with the animals. They are now facing acute shortage of potable water, food and other essential items and with no visible income, they are forgoing one meal at this moment. She also narrated the predicament of her vulnerable community members trying to cope with the deluge. She also said that many families are stranded in the flood waters and neither any government official nor any elected representative have come to take stock of their situation.

This correspondent also noticed that some�of the flood victims have shifted their belongings and animals to high grounds, especially on the roads. This is not a single case.

In Old Bakurpara under municipal ward no.11, about 110 families have taken shelter on the embankment for the last 15 days after their dwellings got submerged by flood waters.

A section of the flood victims, while talking to this correspondent, complained that they are scared to leave the place and move to the relief camps for the fear of losing their dwellings and identity. They have demanded adequate relief.

Biswanath Chariali Correspondent adds: The water level of the Borgang river in Biswanath district has been increasing due to incessant rains during the last couple of days causing much inconvenience to the poor farmars of Neelbari area.

According to information, the river has started eroding a huge stretch on the bank of the river. Paddy fields, small tea gardens and a part of the Borbhil division of Borgang Tea Estate have been submerged by the surging water of the river.

Local people alleged that erosion has been taking place in the areas for the last five years. Same is the fate of the people of Borjarani Tengabori village. The sudden spurt in water in the hilly rivers has thrown life out of gear in these areas.

The villages under Kumalia Gaon Panchayat have also been affected due to the breach in the Biswanath-Panpur dyke.

The surging water of the Brahmaputra developed a breach in the dyke recently. Agricultural produce in those areas have been badly affected leading to price hike in vegetables in the markets in Biswanath Chariali.

An AASU team led by central assistant secretary Duldul Borkataki visited the flood-affected areas on Thursday and took stock of the situation. The team also urged the Biswanath Deputy Commissioner to initiate rehabilitation of the affected people. On the other hand, two geo-dykes constructed from Gangmou Than to Borbhil Neelbari by the Department of Water Resource Department, have failed to protect the areas from the fury of the river, the people alleged.

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