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Floods breach 48 dykes, 120 roads in State this year

By Rituraj Borthakur

GUWAHATI, July 28 - The three waves of floods have left a trail of destruction, breaching at least 48 embankments and dykes and 120 road stretches so far. The raging waters have breached 17 embankments of the Water Resources Department and at three locations �public cuts� were detected.

�Besides those, there have been at least 28 other breaches in the embankments and dykes of other departments like Soil Conservation, P&RD, Agriculture etc. As per our reports, breaches were reported in 120 road stretches across the State,� an official in the Water Resources Department told The Assam Tribune, citing latest reports available from the ground.

�According to a preliminary estimate, we may require Rs 256 crore for temporary closing of the embankments and another Rs 930 crore for complete restoration works,� the Water Resources official said.

However, the Water Resources Department has already closed five of the breaches reported this year. �The breaches were closed on war-footing. Some were plugged in five days time. We hope to close another six in two / three days time. In others, we may require more time and wait for the water level to recede,� the official said.

Thirty eight embankment breaches were reported by the Water Resources Department last year, of which 36 were plugged. �One at Borguli and another at Barpeta could not be closed due to local issues. However, we are on the job. At the Barpeta location, locals are demanding a sluice gate. It has been already sanctioned. Work will start once the floods are over,� the officials said.

�The floods this year have been unprecedented. Some districts of the State have received 60 per cent excess rainfall. Overall, the State has received 20 per cent excess rainfall. The neighbouring hilly states have received much more precipitation, compounding the situation in Assam further,� the official added.

Assam has 423 embankments with a total length of 4474.42 km. As many as 295 of the 423 embankments in the State have outlived their lifespan.

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