Once Irom Sharmila’s jail, flood-hit Manipur hospital suspends routine operations
6 lakh people across four north-eastern states – Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Mizoram – have been affected by floods and landslidesindia Updated: Jul 07, 2017 08:22 IST
Flooding has virtually paralysed a Manipur hospital that had been rights activist Irom Sharmila’s jail for almost 16 years.
The Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS) in Imphal has weathered adversities such as periodic highway blockades causing shortage of medicines, militancy and counter-terrorism.
But the hospital had no insulation against floodwater that submerged much of low-lying Porompat, the Imphal locality where the 28-year-old JNIMS is situated, on Wednesday.
“Except for emergency service, all kinds of routine operations have been suspended as our laundry area is flooded. But our doctors, nurses and subordinate staff are trying their best to serve patients,” said L Ranbir Singh, JNIMS superintendent.
Much of the hospital complex is less than a feet over the water level. But officials fear the worst if it rains harder.
The JNIMS has often played second fiddle to the central-sector Regional Institute of Medical Sciences in Lamphelpat area. But JNIMS began to steal the limelight after a special ward was turned into Sharmila’s detention centre. She was released on August 9 last year after she ended her fast against the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act of 1958.
Many parts of greater Imphal area are inundated for five days now. Many offices are under at least knee-deep water.
State disaster management officials said Manipur is witnessing flash floods after the embankments of major rivers breached at several points due to heavy rainfall since Cyclone Mora hit the Northeast in May.
The impact of the first wave of flood in May has been less severe than the second wave from the second week of June.
The BJP-led state government has declared the disaster a ‘state calamity’. “The situation is grim to say the least,” chief secretary O Nabakishore said.
Agriculture officials said 20% of the state’s cultivable area was under water. “We have requested the Centre to declare it (flood and landslides) as a calamity of a severe nature and focus attention accordingly,”said chief minister N Biren.
Floods and landslides have killed 24 people in Assam since April, including 3 on Thursday.
Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram too have suffered due to incessant rainfall causing flash floods and landslides, cutting off many areas.