Flood scene improves in Brahmaputra valley;Barak remains cut of

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Guwahati, Sep 14 (UNI) The flood scene in Assam showed marginal improvement in the Brahmaputra valley, though the Barak valley continued to remain cut off from rest of the country.

Even as water levels have receded over the past couple of days, there was no let up in the overall situation as people struggled to come to terms with the devastation in the aftermath of the third wave of flood this year, by far among the worst in recent times.

The death toll had touched 42 in the third wave, with more than 70 people already dead in the previous two waves of flood.

The worst hit districts include the three districts of Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi in Barak valley and Lakhimpur, Baska and Sonitpur.

Air Force copters had been pressed into service to airdrop relief materials in the Barak valley since yesterday.

Over 40 houses either collapsed or been partially damaged in Dholai circle of Cachar district yesterday when an IAF chopper virtually created a storm on the flood water while dropping relief materials.

The tea gardens in the valley were also on the verge of shut down due to non-availability of essential commodities.

Road communication to the entire valley was snapped a fortnight ago following a massive landslide at Sonapur in Meghalaya, which blocked a 300-metre stretch of the NH 44. Rail links had been snapped since June 25 after a bridge collapsed near Lumding.

It would take more time to restore communication, with the rail link likely to be back on track only in October.

In the Brahmaputra valley, the situation was improving, with the water receding in most areas. However, the situation in the river island of Majuli continued to be grim, with almost the entire island still submerged.

The government was grappling with 146 breaches in embankment and around 1100 small and medium damaged bridges.

Almost all the major national highways were badly damaged and the worst section was between Bhabanipur to Nalbari where a bridge was swept away by the flood on NH 31.

With the waters receding in many places, huge quantity of slough deposited on the paddy fields. The government, foreseeing heavy losses for the agri-depandant economy, has already geared up for distribution of seeds and other help to the farmers.

Agriculture Minister Pramila Rani Brahma had said that total loss in terms of production would be over Rs 700 crore and a dip in production up to 30 per cent could be incurred in the floods in this season.

UNI

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