Lives of people affected by Assam flood has come to a standstill. Once a much prosperous Numoliya Das has been left a pauper when on July 9 Ranganada river swept through his village. Das is a resident of Amtola-Joinpur, which is about 14 km from this eastern Assam town. He grew crops on his land and also supplemented his income through his puppet theatre group. But now the massive breach on Ranganada river embankment has turned everything against him.
According to an Indian Express report, about 16 km upstream, another breach in Ranganadi embankment led to water sweeping into Bogolijan and a similar story repeated itself there for many people in that area as well. A resident who lost everything in the flood says, “Where our house used to be till two weeks ago now lies the river. We could not save much except for what we are wearing. My gold ornaments, the only pair of paat mekhela-chador (a traditional dress), my loom, all are gone.”
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Barun Bhuyan, Deputy Commissioner at the district headquarters estimates that over 3.35 lakh people have been affected by the flood, 183 houses have disappeared and 22,000 hectares of paddy fields are a desert now. In the beginning of July heavy rain in Ranganada’s catchment area in the neighbouring Arunachal Pradesh had left rivers swollen. Subansiri is a major Brahmaputra tributary and after Arunachal, the water flows about 40 km from Lakhimpur emptying into it. The release of Ranganadi water twice in 12 hours made the situation worse. This was done to ease the hydro-electric project at Yazali in Arunachal Pradesh.