GUWAHATI: The floods in parts of Bihar and West Bengal have cut off the Northeast, which is already battling the worst flood in three decades.
According to Assam’s disaster management authorities, the region remained cut off as some roads and railway tracks in Bihar and West Bengal were flooded. The Northeast constitutes four per cent of the country’s population and about seven per cent of its total area.
“We have reviewed the situation. I also had a discussion with my Bihar counterpart today (Monday) and I was told some roads and railway tracks there were under water. This has affected railway and road traffic and more importantly, supplies,” Rajesh Prasad, commissioner in the department of disaster management in Assam, told the New Indian Express.
“As of now, there is no crisis of essential commodities. The state has 10-14 days’ stocks. We will hold another review meeting on August 17,” he added.
The second wave of the year’s flood in Assam, which the authorities concluded is the most devastating since the one in 1988, has affected 31.59 lakh people in 3,192 villages of 25 of the state’s 32 districts. The first wave of the flood in July had affected 25.42 lakh people.
Three more people died – two in Morigaon and one in Golaghat districts – since Sunday evening, taking the death toll to 18. The Brahmaputra and some of its tributaries were in a spate, flowing above danger mark at several places.
The swirling flood waters breached embankments and damaged roads, culverts and bridges in a number of districts. The National Disaster Response Force and the State Disaster Response Force were engaged in the rescue and relief operations.
The railway board has announced the cancellation of all incoming trains from various parts of the country to the Northeast. Trains are now plying between Siliguri and New Jalpaiguri in West Bengal to Assam.
The Northeast Frontier Railways (NFR) said trains originating from various parts of the country were halted at Kathiar in Bihar. Similarly, trains originating from Assam are travelling up to Siliguri and New Jalpaiguri. Within Assam, the trains are, however, running as usual.
Vehicular traffic between Nagaon in central Assam and Numaligarh in eastern Assam was disrupted due to the floods.
Assam’s chief secretary, VK Pipersenia, on Monday reviewed the situation in a video conference with the district magistrates of affected districts. He directed them to gear up flood relief and rescue operations on a war footing.