Pains ease in Garo Hills

Representational picture.

Tura/SHILLONG, June 18: Garo Hills heaved a collective sigh of relief with rains finally relenting and water in most places receding.
Unrelenting rains over the past seven days led to huge tracts of land in the lower lying areas of the region going under water with the hills suffering damage to road and other infrastructure. With there being very little rain today, the situation finally improved though all districts remain on high alert as there are forecasts for more rains in the coming days.
In the current spell, South and South West Garo Hills were the worst affected districts with there being at least 4 reported casualties in the district of South Garo Hills (SGH) on Friday. The deaths reportedly occurred due to landslides in the towns of Baghmara and Siju.
Siju has remained cut off after two main bridges connecting the town were washed away. On the other side, the NH-62 suffered massive damage making travel impossible. Rongara, near the border with Bangladesh also remains cut off after the main bridge collapsed as is Maheshkola.
West Garo Hills (WGH) which mainly suffered from landslides, saw one of the timber bridges near Barengapara being washed away early this morning, Jun 18. However the other parts of the district were back to normal. The DC, Swapnil Tembe informed that restoration work is currently ongoing.
The plain belt of the district too saw a decline in water levels in the Brahmaputra river, though things could change due to the backflow of water from Assam.
In South West Garo Hills, most residents have begun returning to their homes with the deputy commissioner, SK Marak informing that water has receded in most places.
“Assessment of damages and the number of impacted people is still being assessed. We will announce gratuitous relief (GR) after complete assessment is done,” said the DC.
SWGH had reported more than 40,000 people affected by the deluge in at least 110 villages in the 3 C&RD Blocks in the district. GR was provided to those in the relief camps though the administration announced that GR would be provided to those impacted, after assessment.
North and East Garo Hills reported no new development though water in the Bajengdoba area too has currently subsided.
Advisory for Gamebgre residents
The residents of Gambegre, one of the worst-hit regions by the recent downpour in the state, have been advised to play their roles responsibly and shift to higher grounds from vulnerable or disaster prone areas.
Suggesting the citizens in his constituency to exercise caution, the MLA of Gambegre and state president of National Congress Party (NCP), Saleng Sangma, on Saturday said the state government is going all out to provide relief to those affected by the rains.
Stating that the situation in his constituency is grave, Sangma said the government is trying to reach out to the entire household affected by floods/rainfall and provide relief in whatever way possible, even as he admitted that nobody can stop natural calamities from occurring.
In Gambegre, three to four bridges have been washed away and many of the areas have been cut off, however, aid is being provided with the help of boats, the MLA said.
“Most of the bridges wooden and even concrete have been washed out. We are attending to them and the Deputy Commissioner is in constant with them and responding to their need,” he said.
Pointing out that the IMD has issued a warning till June 20, he said that it might go beyond the said date as the state has experienced a similar situation in September last year.
“We have somewhat managed to provide some relief and we are still assessing,” he said.