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Problems follow as floods recede in Assam

Most people in Pajarbhanga village, 15 km from Barpeta town in lower Assam, have been living in temporary sheds since the night of June 27.

Published: 12th July 2012 11:22 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th July 2012 11:27 AM   |  A+A-

Floods in Assam are almost over but not the problems of the victims.

Most people in Pajarbhanga village, 15 km from Barpeta town in lower Assam, have been living in temporary sheds since the night of June 27.

The surging waters of the Brahmaputra inundated the village and washed away everything -- from houses and belongings to standing crops.

Some also lost their only way of livelihood. Their paddy fields located near the river were eroded.

"The waters washed away at least 50 houses in the village on the night of June 27. The devastations continued for two days. Most people lost their houses and all belongings," Hannan Sikdar told IANS.

"We have shifted to the embankment and are living in temporary sheds made of bamboo poles and polythene sheets distributed by the government," he said.

"We have received rice and dal only for four days. After that, no relief has come," Sikdar said.

"Families are going through hell. There are babies, pregnant women and elderly in the sheds. There is no food and no medicines," he said. People had no idea why the government had stopped the relief.

An eight-year-old boy, Anidul Haque, was washed away in the floods, say villagers.

Barpeta district is one of the areas worst-hit by floods.

The death toll in Assam due to floods and landslides has risen to 125. Of them, 25 people, including the boy, died in Barpeta.

"We have lost everything and the government has also stopped relief. If they think our problems have ended as water has started to recede, what can I say?" asked a disgusted Rafique Haque, a farmer.

"I have six members in my family and the youngest is three years old. I can't leave the shed and go out to earn. At least the administration should show some mercy and feed us for a few more days," he said.

Officials, however, claimed that they had been providing relief material to all the flood-affected people in the district.

But people in Pajarbhanga village complained that relief material provided by the administration mostly included rice and dal.

Three kilos of rice and 400 gm of dal against one adult member for a family was insufficient since there were children and pregnant women among the flood victims.

"Many people are suffering from diseases such as diarrhoea. We had appealed to the administration to send medicines for children and elderly so that there are no epidemics. There is no response," Hannan said.

(Anup Sharma can be contacted at anup.s@ians.in)

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