No relief has reached us, say flood-affected families in Assam’s Morigaon
Morigaon is one of the worst-affected of the 24 flood-ravaged districts in the stateUpdated: Aug 17, 2017, 12:57 IST
Ramesh Kunwor and his family of six comprising aged parents, wife and two minor sons have been staying at a makeshift structure near the road linking Jagiroad to Morigaon—nearly 75 km from Assam’s capital Dispur—for the past five days.
Surging waters of the Brahmaputra forced this 35-year-old farmer to flee from his home at Madhupur village, located barely few kilometers away from Morigaon district headquarters.
Over a dozen other families from the village are also staying at structures made of tin sheets and plastic since Saturday.
But despite official claims of adequate relief reaching all flood-affected in Assam, Ramesh and others are yet to receive any help. Since they are not residing in designated camps, these victims are not listed in official records.
“We have been staying here since Saturday. No help has reached us and we are sustaining ourselves with whatever rice and other essentials we could bring with us. Now even that is running out,” said Ramesh.
Eight-year-old Rupam and his sister Moina who stay in another makeshift camp have puffed-rice for lunch. All these flood-affected are waiting for the waters to recede to return to their submerged homes.
“This is annual phenomenon. Each year we get displaced from our homes due to floods. This is the second time we are staying in camps this season,” said 60-year-old Jyotish Das.
According to state disaster management authority figures, 16,130 quintals of rice, 2,846 quintals of pulses and 965 quintals of salt have been distributed among flood affected in Morigaon till date.
“We have also distributed adequate amount of other essentials like tarpaulin sheets, sugar, jaggery, beaten-rice and hand lamps to the affected,” said a district official, refusing to be quoted.
Morigaon is one of the worst-affected of the 24 flood-ravaged districts in the state. Eight of the 39 victims who have died in the second spate of flooding this season till Thursday are from this district in central Assam.
Of the 629 designated relief camps in the state, 89 are in Morigaon where 1,025 of the state’s 1.38 lakh displaced people are taking shelter. Five revenue circles and 343 villages in the district are inundated.
Of the 1.43 lakh hectares of crop area affected across Assam, over 36,433 falls in Morigaon. More than 5.10 lakh people in the district remain affected—the total figure for Assam is over 33.45 lakh.
Last month, flood affected residents at several places had heckled ministers and elected representatives over delay or inadequate relief.
On Thursday, food and civil supplies minister Rihon Daimari admitted to journalists that there have been lapses in rescue efforts and relief distribution in some areas.