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Assam Floods: CID to Investigate Silchar Deluge, Six People Identified for Embankment Breach, Says CM

By: Niloy Bhattacherjee

News18.com

Last Updated: July 02, 2022, 19:38 IST

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma serves food to residents of flood-affected areas, at a relief camp in Silchar, on July 1, 2022. (PTI)

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma serves food to residents of flood-affected areas, at a relief camp in Silchar, on July 1, 2022. (PTI)

Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma said the accused who allegedly left a gaping hole in the Barak river embankment, more than 3km from the town centre, would be brought to book

Six people have been identified as responsible for an embankment breach that led to devastating floods in Assam’s Silchar, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has said during a visit to the Bethukundi dyke.

He said the accused who allegedly left a gaping hole in the Barak river embankment, more than 3km from the town center, would be brought to book, adding that lapses on the part of officials would also be looked into.

Assam’s flood situation worsened with 14 more people losing their lives on Friday, taking the toll to 173 while a population of 29.70 lakh in 30 districts remained affected. Many parts of Cachar district’s severely affected Silchar town are still waterlogged. Rivers such as the Brahmaputra, Beki, Kopili, Barak, and the Kushiyara are flowing above the danger level at several places though most of them are maintaining a receding trend.

“The Bethukandi incident is a big lesson for us. The next time there is a flood, we have to post policemen at the embankment so that nobody can breach it. Regarding Betukhandi breach, CID has been asked to register a case in Guwahati. Now the case for the Silchar flood shall be registered in Guwahati, people shall be interrogated in Guwahati and all investigations shall be done from Guwahati. It will be done by CID under a Special Task Force lead by the ADGP CID. Whosoever is arrested in this connection shall require to take bail from Guwahati," the Chief Minister said.

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It is speculated that residents of Mahisha Beel breached the embankment at Bethukandi to drain out excess water into the Barak river that flows down from Manipur and meanders into Bangladesh. On May 23, Debabrata Pal, the executive engineer of the Water Resources Department, lodged an FIR against unknown persons under Section 427 (mischief causing damage) of the Indian Penal Code read with Section 3 of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act.

“As of now, we have information of six people’s involvement in the breach. The SP had earlier filed an FIR in Silchar but now we have taken things to the next level," said Sarma.

The Chief Minister also distributed ex-gratia of Rs 4 lakh each to the next of kin of 10 of the 24 people who died due to floods in Cachar district. The process of granting relief to family members of the other deceased will be taken up in a phased manner.

Visiting the Bethukundi dyke, Sarma reviewed the reconstruction activities being undertaken on breached locations and instructed officials to ensure that good quality raw material is used. Sarma, in his third visit to Barak Valley within 10 days, also held a meeting with Cachar district administration to review measures being taken to deal with the situation.

The Chief Minister visited two relief camps in Silchar and four in Karimganj and assured those who have taken shelter there of all help by the administration. He also went by boat to the affected people of Srirampur village in Karimganj and directed the district authorities to take steps to provide relief to them.

As many as 2,450 villages under 88 revenue circles have been affected across the state while 3,03,484 people have taken shelter in 563 relief camps, according to the official bulletin. Besides Cachar where a population of 14,04,748 were hit by the calamity, Nagaon and Barpeta districts were also hugely affected.

A total of 17 embankments were breached - 12 in Cachar, four in Udalguri and one in Baksa while 486 roads and 14 bridges have been damaged. A crop area of 63314.75 hectares has been inundated while 795 animals were washed away and 9,55,089 were affected. Large scale erosion was also reported from Barpeta, Bongaigaon, Chirang, Dhubri, Jorhat, Kamrup, Lakhimpur, Majuli, Morigaon, Nalbari, Sonitpur, Tinsukia and Udalguri.

Urban flooding was reported from Cachar, Dibrugarh, Udalguri and Tinsukia, the bulletin added.

With PTI inputs

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first published:July 02, 2022, 13:35 IST
last updated:July 02, 2022, 19:38 IST