Amit Shah assures aid to flood-hit Meghalaya

Ministers visit Phulbari-Rajabala areas by boat

TURA/ SHILLONG: Union Home Minister Amit Shah has assured assistance to the flood affected areas of Meghalaya.
Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong and Tourism Minister Metbah Lyngdoh met Shah on Tuesday and apprised him of the flood situation in Meghalaya and sought support.
The chief minister thanked Shah for his assurance to provide all necessary assistance to the state.
Earlier, State Home Minister James Sangma along with Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Kyrmen Shylla visited the flood affected plains of Phulbari-Rajabala by boat.
West Garo Hills Deputy Commissioner Ram Singh and other officials from different departments were present during the inspection.
They held a meeting with the displaced people and reviewed the measures taken by the district administration. There has been no respite even on the fourth day from flood waters for the over one lakh people residing in the plains of Phulbari, Rajabala and Selsella.
Water from the Brahmaputra and Jinjiram rivers on Saturday inundated vast areas of land in the low lying West Garo Hills plains forcing thousands to seek refuge in higher ground where the government has set up dozens of relief camps to house them and one week of gratuitous relief is being provided to the camp inmates.
SDRF team rescues people
A team of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) worked tirelessly since July 13 to evacuate local residents from the flood hit areas of Phulbari.
The SDRF team was stationed at the flood prone areas of Phulbari and Mahendraganj from last week. One SDRF team has also been stationed at Tura for any emergency.
Rescue operations by the SDRF are being supervised by MM Sangma, Deputy Controller, Civil Defence, Tura.
During the daylong trip, James and his cabinet colleague Shylla together with the Rajabala and Phulbari legislators, Azad Zaman and
SG Esmatur Mominin undertook the boat ride to survey the flood affected areas of Phulbari region and also interacted with the affected people in the compound of the PWD guest house at Phulbari.
Farmers were also affected as several paddy fields were submerged.
James was briefed by district officials about the flood situation and the steps being taken to mitigate the suffering of the affected people.
Assuring all possible help from the government for the affected people, the home minister also informed the gathering that chief minister tried to undertake an aerial survey of the flood situation on Sunday but had to cancel it due to bad weather. He added that the chief minister was constantly monitoring the situation and taking feedback from the officials on the ground.
James seeks suggestions
James said the government is open to suggestions on how to tackle the floods and added that grievances of the people have to be addressed efficiently.
He told the gathering that larger topics of development and plans to tackle floods cannot be taken up in the meeting but the delegation was in the region to listen to the grievances of the flood affected people so that he can take up the matter to be solved at the ground level.
James said he is happy with the ongoing works and relief activities being taken up by the administration in order to help the people and that everything is going smoothly without any hiccups.
He informed that as per data presented to him the water levels are subsiding and that if heavy rain does not occur the water levels will completely subside within a week or two.
As to the request of the Rajabala MLA, who wanted relief materials for the people be given for a whole month instead of a week, the home minister replied that relief materials are provided based on the assessment of current requirements and statistics.
The home minister told the gathering that the government is doing everything in to provide help and relief to the people and that they can come forward with the grievances and approach the administration for help and solutions.
James assured the people that the government is there to help them and is with them in good times and bad times and will always be there for them and encouraged the people gathered at the meeting to approach the administration for any help required.
“Government will do everything possible to overcome this challenge. We are in touch with the district administration round the clock and monitoring the situation,” said James.
As many as 159 villages have been hit by flood waters in the plains affecting a population of around one lakh thirty thousand people in four assembly constituency segments.
The state declared the region flood affected on Sunday night after rising waters from the two rivers, fed by incessant rains in the upper reaches of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, dangerously rose breaching embankments and causing flooding of Phulbari, Balachanda, Bhaitbari, Rajabala, Hallidayganj and parts of Selsella.
Manmade attempts at checking floods by large scale construction of embankments like the Nagaband Solartek in Phulbari failed to prevent the flood waters from breaching the embankment and by Monday flood waters had inundated vast areas of Phulbari town.
With the rain easing up on Tuesday, there is optimism that the waters could recede by the weekend.

error: Content is protected !!