Assam flood: an annual scourge for the state

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“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

-Dr. Seuss

Flood in Assam is devastating as in Gujarat but in aftermath of the flood in Gujarat there are allegations that the prime minister Narendra Modi is not as generous to Assam as he is to Gujarat. The flood in Assam has exacted a toll of 83 in its first devastation. The Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the state and announced a relief package of Rs 500 crore for the flood-affected districts. He also declared ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased, and Rs 50,000 to those seriously injured in the floods. Modi conducted an aerial survey of flood-ravaged areas of north Gujarat where the authorities have shifted more than 36,000 people to safety and rescued more than 1,600 with the help of Indian Army, Indian Air Force and the National Disaster Response Force personnel since Monday. The heavy inflow from Rajasthan, coupled with incessant rains severely affected road and rail transport in the state. While at least 20 trains on the Mumbai-Delhi route were affected, with 11 of them cancelled due to railway tracks being washed off near Palanpur, 915 buses originating from Himmatnagar, Palanpur, Mehsana, Ahmedabad and Patan were cancelled as major roads connecting north Gujarat were either damaged or inundated.

The overall loss to the transport sector is estimated to be over Rs 6 crore per day, while railways have been suffering a loss of Rs 5 crore. Two days after torrential rains wreaked havoc in Rajasthan, the death toll reached 12 with eight more people reported dead. Meanwhile the flood situation improves in Assam but it is still exacting live, property and life. At the same time the flood situation in Bihar worsened on August 17 with the death toll mounted to 119, which has affected nearly 98 lakh people in 16 districts, forcing postponement of examination and cancellation of trains. In the larger context the picture is to prevent future loss of life and property. We need to have a mechanism where personnel are stationed to prevent tragedy to happen as have happened at in Araria district in Bihar. A video shot by some locals caught three persons stranded in floods falling into an overflowing river after a bridge collapsed in Araria district. The video first shows the river uprooting a huge tree and carrying it away with the flow and later destroying the bridge that was being used by the locals to cross the river. Now, it is to be seen how Prime Minister will react to the flood in Bihar. Will his reaction invite criticism? Will it be smack of discrimination? The BJP led NDA government should act in such a way that it is not acting in a way that will only benefit only a certain state, section, or region. And in case of natural calamities even more so that any calamity in India be treated in equal importance.

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