BARPETA, July 31 - The overall flood situation in Barpeta has improved a bit due to receding of water level of major rivers. However, lakhs of people in the district are leading a miserable life without any knowledge of the probable time of returning home.
The people are accommodated in the relief camps set up by the administration, are enjoying the basic few facilities like water, kitchen and toilets. But those living on the streets or embankments elsewhere in the district are leading a pathetic life. Most of the families are sleeping under the same roof with their pets on the roads for the last one fortnight. Those living on the streets have to fight for food and safety as well as for hygiene. The amount of food provided by the government is not sufficient for livelihood for such a long time. Though some non-government agencies are also providing relief materials, they are confined to urban and rural areas accessible by roads. As a result, those marooned in remote areas are deprived of such extra privileges.
Most of the villagers are dependent on agriculture, whether on their own land or work for wage in neighbouring areas. But the devastating flood has made them idle as there is no work to do in the farmland. The future haunts the psyche of the poor people in the district as not only now during the floods they will have to remain unemployed but for a long time as the sali seedlings have been completely washed away.
During floods, the houses submerged by floods are affected for the longer time generally and this has happened in the case of numerous dwelling houses in Sarthebari, Chenga and Kalgachia revenue circle areas of the district. Till now, 8.20 lakh people in about 600 villages are under water, out of which 116 belong to Sarthebari revenue circle followed by 100 under Barpeta circle.
About 20 villages in the district are languishing under floods for more than one month as these were submerged by floods in the last week of June. As the first wave had just begun to subside, they had to face the second and third ones in a row.
Most of the suffering people are not satisfied with the relief materials and the sanitation measures undertaken in the affected areas. They demanded of the authority to supply more food and take adequate measures to control epidemics during the post-flood period.