Floods in Assam is a very serious problem. It is a phenomenon that occurs almost every year in the State. The people of Assam face a grim situation every year, and also have dealt with a lot of destruction due to this cruel disaster. This year too, the flood situation in Assam remains grim and has only become more critical as the State battles with the COVID-19 pandemic and floods at the same time.
The damage caused by floods has gone from bad to worse this year too. According to the Assam State Disaster Management Authority, 35.76 lakh people in 3,014 villages and localities across 28 of the State’s 33 districts have been affected by this year’s floods, with a death toll of over 76. Another 26 victims had lost their lives in landslides earlier in the State. The data also mentions that standing crop growing over an area of 1.28 lakh hectares has been affected. Along with all these, 711 relief camps were operational where 51,421 people are taking shelter.
The floods have also hit the lives of animals in Kaziranga National Park. According to a bulletin released by the SDMA on 15th July 2020, the floods have affected 167 out of 223 camps at the national park. As many as 66 animals have been killed, while 117 others have been rescued in the national park, the bulletin said.
The Brahmaputra and Barak rivers have a large number of tributaries that primarily cause floods during monsoons. It affects lakhs of people every year. But the question remains the same: why is Assam floods not a national problem ?
Why it is still not a national disaster ? Year after year, people of Assam have faced great destruction and tragedy. Yet, no one in the country has a proper response to such questions. It is surprising!
Last year, covering the issue of Assam floods, I wrote an article on Youth Ki Awaaz platform, about the floods being a complex issue. To prevent floods in Assam, the authorities need to invest in research to take stock of the situation and offer viable solutions. It’s high time we pay more attention to improve the state’s management system to combat its yearly flooding.
Meanwhile, national media — and by that, I mean the TV news media — coverage on Assam floods is still not satisfactory. Though print and digital media have given space to the issue in their news stories, their response is often not up to the mark. Therefore, it seems that Assam floods are a problem no of the country, but of one state only, where the tragedy of loss of lives occurs almost every year.
To conclude, it has become well-known how floods are a routine disaster for Assam. Therefore, the government needs to take the initiative to find the problem and reduce the havoc caused in the region, which could lead to long-term preventive measures. It’s high time we investigate why Assam is affected by floods every year.
It is also true that floods are natural hazards, but they can be minimised; the causalities can also be controlled, and risk can be reduced. In fine, it is sad to share that the floods in Assam displace thousands, damage property take lives every year — but lessons are rarely learnt! Hope, this will be taken seriously very soon !!