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Lakhimpur flood toll rises to 3

By Correspondent

NORTH LAKHIMPUR, July 29 - There has been no let-up in the devastating flood situation in Lakhimpur as one more death was reported in the district. A 12-year-old boy was swept away at Chenimari, Narayanpur, this morning. The victim was identified as Neelamani Kumbang. With this, the number of persons who died in the present flood in Lakhimpur district has risen to three.

Compensation cheques for Rs 4 lakh have already been presented by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal to the next of kin of the two persons who had died in the flood.

All minor and major rivers in the district are flowing above the danger mark. The floodwaters of the Kakoi and Dirgha rivers have inundated large tracts of agricultural land and residential areas under the Kadam Revenue Circle.

Meanwhile, massive erosion caused by the Subansiri river has affected a large number of families at Hekerajan in Bhimpora Mathawri village near Bogeenadi in Lakhimpur district. Unabated erosion has been continuing for the last 10 days, washing away an area of almost four kilometres in the village and wiping out houses and agriculture land with standing crops.

The houses belonging to Hasan Ali, Absar Ali, Ashraf Ali, Akkas Ali, Abbas Ali, Zehirul Ali, Sonali Ali, Sahar Ali, Binod Ali, Samsher Ali, Sahjahan Ali and Jengrai Goyari have been swept away. They have also lost their agricultural land measuring ten bighas each with standing crops, bamboo groves, lemon trees and medicinal plants.

Many villagers living on the banks of the Subansiri river have also moved to safer places. Some of them have also dismantled their houses to save them from the impending disaster and shifted to makeshift camps.

The villagers, who have been forced to earn their livelihood by selling firewood flowing in the river at the Bogeenadi weekly bazaar, are now facing starvation along with their children and elders. These affected families are demanding adequate compensation from the departments concerned and land for their rehabilitation. So far no relief material has reached this erosion-hit village of Hekerajan-Bhimpora Mathawrigaon under the Kadam Revenue Circle near Bogeenadi, 20 km south-east of here. The Kadam Circle Office, too, has allegedly taken no initiative to provide relief and rehabilitation measures to the affected people. The Water Resources Department is also yet to take any anti-erosion measures in the area, it is alleged.

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