GUWAHATI, July 15 - �The river has washed away my cattle and poultry along with 10 bighas of maize cultivation. I have no clue how I will feed my family till I get the government relief,� lamented Abu Sheikh, a small-time farmer from Panikhaiti on the outskirts of the capital city.
The recent wave of floods has ravaged several parts of Kamrup (Metro) district, and like many others, Sheikh is finding it difficult to make both ends meet due to nature�s fury.
The rising water level of the Brahmaputra since Sunday evening has inundated Panikhaiti area, around 15 km from the capital complex. Most of its residents have been forced to take shelter on the roadside as the district administration is yet to set up relief camps for them.
According to the district administration, around 20,000 people have so far been affected due to floods in Chandrapur revenue circle. The situation seems to be worsening with the water level in Sonapur rising as well.
�We are shelter-less since Sunday evening and the floodwater also destroyed our food items. Everyone is now surviving on chira (flattened rice),� said Ranjit Biswas, another resident of Panikhaiti. He alleged that no official from the district administration has visited the place till Monday evening, though the river water level was rising continuously. �If the water level continues to rise, then within a few hours, we have to move to a nearby hilly area,� added Jiten Ghosh.
Gopal Bhattacharya, president of the Village Defence Party of Bonda-Panikhaiti area, said that the area has been hit by floodwaters probably for the first time since 2004.
�It was way back in 1988 and 2004 that we had faced such a situation in Chandrapur revenue circle. Luckily till now, no casualty has been reported. But many have lost their belongings in this flood which has inundated the entire Chapaidang and Panikhaiti area. Even the newly-constructed road near the Panikhaiti railway crossing got inundated. The State Disaster Response Force has been pressed into action for rescue operations,� Bhattacharya said.
Meanwhile, Kamrup (Metro) Deputy Commissioner Biswajeet Pegu visited the flood-affected areas of Sonapur and Chandrapur revenue circle on Monday.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, Pegu said, �The flood has affected thousands of people in Chandrapur, West Mayong, Sonapur and Maloibari areas in the eastern part of the district. In the western part, in Garal area under Azara revenue circle, a chapori has got inundated. I have already carried out a ground study and relief operations will start from Tuesday morning.� The flood has also inundated the office of the Chandrapur revenue circle, and officials said it might adversely affect the NRC updating process, as hearing of many claims and objections was yet to be completed.
Sources in the State Water Resources Department said that some leakage was detected on Monday morning in the embankment of the Kolong river due to the rising water level. Officials from the Guwahati Water Resources Division have already taken necessary measures to address the issue.