150 villages flood hit in Meghalaya

Meghalaya government today ordered gratuitous relief to nearly 150 villages in the plain belts of West Garo Hills district after the back flow of the Brahmaputra caused flooding in at least two blocks displacing over 1,17,000 people.

"It has been decided that the plain belt areas have to be declared flood hit and gratuitous relief has to be sent," district Deputy Commissioner Pravin Bakshi told PTI.

He said the total affected population is 1,17,292 with 17,407 households have been severely affected and 5,200 partially affected by the flooding in several villages of Selsella and Tikrikilla blocks.

An early warning on flood was issued to the district on August 14 on the likelihood of the occurrence of low intensity flood and the situation was under close watch for the past one week, he said.

As the water level in Brahmaputra's tributary Jingiram river continued to rise inundating villages over the weekend, an assessment was done, Bakshi stated.

The decision was taken at an emergency meeting convened by the Minister in charge Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, Clement Marak, during his visit to the affected areas yesterday.

Bakshi said 92 villages in Selsella block are severely affected and 30 villages are affected partially adding that some villages under Tikrikilla Block also have been partially submerged.

Efforts were also on to set up relief camps in the affected areas while the Agriculture Department has completed its preliminary assessment of the damage to sali paddy.

It assessed 1550 hectares of sali paddy crop that is submerged, Bakshi said.

The Majhipara Solartek embankment is also breached and major cause of flood as there is breach from chainage 4120 m to 4620 m, he said adding that all steps are being taken to repair but the Jingiram is in space.

The state government has also alerted all other line departments and surveys for damages assessment will be done.

PHE Department has been asked to arrange for drinking water and sanitation needs, he said adding that the Emergency Operations Centre of Tura was activated.

Boats were being requisitioned for evacuation if needed, he said.