Monday, July 15, 2024

Flood threat looms over GH plain belt, govt on high alert


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TURA/SHILLONG, July 3: The rise in the water levels of all the major rivers in the region has threatened to submerge the plain belt of the Garo Hills.
Many low-lying areas in this belt from Tikrikilla, Chibinang, Phulbari, Rajabala, and Hallidayganj to Mahendraganj have already been flooded.
The fear of submergence in the plain belt followed floods in the upstream of the Brahmaputra, specifically, Dibrugarh, Kaziranga, and Guwahati in Assam.
In South Garo Hills, incessant rains washed away a part of the NH-62 at Baghmara leaving the road in a precarious state. The under-construction road between Baghmara and Rongara also became unusable in many places due to landslips and dumped excavated earth.
Other districts were largely unaffected despite rising water levels.
Disaster Management Minister, Kyrmen Shylla said the state has been put on high alert following the continuous spell of heavy rains and all emergency services have been pressed into service.
The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) had issued a red alert warning of heavy to very heavy rainfall across Northeast India, including Meghalaya, over the next few days, with particularly intense rainfall expected in some areas.
According to Shylla, SDRF teams are on alert and responding wherever and whenever they are needed.
He stressed that the relevant departments have been directed to act immediately during natural calamities instead of waiting for the disaster management teams to intervene.
The minister emphasized on immediate response by the concerned departments to provide timely assistance to the affected individuals and also to carry out necessary repairs promptly.
West Garo Hills (WGH) Deputy Commissioner, Jagdish Chelani said the situation is being monitored daily.
“Apart from one village, the situation is not critical as water is below the danger levels in all the rivers. We are keeping a very close watch on the situation and have noticed water levels reducing. However, with more rains expected, the situation is grim. Elsewhere, the Ganol River is overflowing,” he said.
The DC said the disaster management team was ready for any eventuality, should it arise.
Meanwhile, Tura experienced bright sunshine on Wednesday afternoon after a heavy downpour in the morning.
Cabinet Minister and local MLA from Phulbari, Abu Taher Mondal alerted the WGH district administration to remain vigil. He said people in the plain belt, which escaped major flooding for a few years now, fear a major flood wave this time due to the rising waters.
“We are yet to assess the damage in the inundated low-lying areas of the plain belt,” he said.
“The situation has become alarming in most places. With more rains expected in the coming days, we are bracing for the worst. Currently, many people are in knee-deep water,” All Meghalaya Minority Students’ Union (AMMSU) president, Nur Islam said.
He said some flood-affected people have written to Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma seeking relief measures.


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