Inundated with troubles
As much as water is the source of life, it wields enough power to turn a normal life upside down. And just when a good number of people in Assam have been trying hard to fight off anxiety about keeping to a place they call their home, waiting for National Register of Citizens to declare its final list on July 31, several people of the state have been struck by another calamity. The situation of flood in Assam has turned very critical affecting more than four lakh people across 700 villages in 17 districts. Though still not at the danger level until Friday, the water level of Brahmaputra river flowing through Guwahati has gone past the warning mark and massive landslides in the state are compounding the woes. People have reportedly died and several houses have been destroyed. The water level of other rivers like Dikhow, Dhansiri, Jia Bharali, Puthimari, and Beki are also above the danger mark. Nearly 13,267.74 hectares of crop area has been devastated due to the floods. As matters stand in a worsening situation, the rains will continue to inundate the state and make the situation much worse. As a relief measure, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal asked the District Commissioners to activate 24x7 control rooms for immediate response to the flood situation in their districts and update the stock of medicines in the hospitals and ensure availability of doctors, along with National Disaster Response Force and State Disaster Response Force swiftly pressed into action for rescue and relief work. It is only too ironical that in a country where a haunting disappearance of water is getting common citizenry frantic with concerns about the immediate future, a state with already troubled people should be devastated by rains. Leaving aside the political exercise of NRC, the very survival of life in Assam in threatened. The inundated state has forests and the steps to rescue animals are not yet in place. Incessant rain and flood situation also threaten a rise in cases of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome and Japanese Encephalitis. Trains have been cancelled owing to flood. As we see, so many problems have together attacked Assam. In hindsight, rainwater harvesting in a place with abundant rainfall could have prevented the situation from compounding. It is a lesson for the rest of the country.