Assam Floods: Why Forgotten Assam not getting desired attention from Modi Govt?

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Floods in Assam, Meghalaya claimed ten lives.
After flash floods ravaged Jammu & Kashmir, in the worst ever natural disaster in last six decades, the North Eastern states of Assam and Meghalaya are the latest to witness the same tragedy triggered by incessant rain. But, it seems both the Centre and state governments did not plan things in advance to deal with a situation like this.

Although relief and rescue teams were sent to the affected areas but had the government bodies been proactive in their approach, precious lives could have been saved. It seems that the government perhaps focused heavily on the relief and rescue operations in Kashmir but forgot to plan things beforehand to tackle situation in North East, where such problems occur every year.

Current flood situation in North East

Heavy rains in Goalpara district coupled with that in neighbouring Garo Hills of Meghalaya was causing the deluge to be intensified in the district.

At least 10 people have died in the landslide and several villages in Goalpara, Dhubri, Lakhimpur and Kamrup (Rural) district, besides Guwahati inundated by water.

A child was killed in a landslide in Dhubri district's Hatsingimari, while one person was electrocuted in Guwahati where a body floating on river Bharalu was also recovered, state government officials said.

In Goalpara district, the army and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) were assisting the district administration in rescuing the over 50,000 people marooned in 100 villages due to the deluge in Krishnai, Dudhnoi and Bolbola areas, district Deputy Commissioner (DC) Preetam Saikia said.

The NH-37 was overrun by the flood waters that were flowing above the tin roofed and thatch houses in many areas in Goalpara. Brahmaputra, the Assam's Sorrow, has swelled and started flooding its embankments.

Polls in J&K and no polls in Assam that's why ignorance?

The way Central government handled the flood situation in the state of Jammu & Kashmir is laudable but things are not happening in the North eastern area at the same pace. What is the probable reason for slow rescue and relief operation in the Eastern state? Was J&K given a special attention just because the state will be witnessing assembly polls and the BJP smells an opportunity in bagging a considerably good number of seats from the valley state?

People are also feeling that because there are no such elections in the near future in the North Eastern states, that is why these regions are not being highlighted the way things were in the case of J&K floods.

Step-motherly behaviour with Assam?

People in Assam have been saying in the past that Governments' have always given step-motherly treatment to the state.

A report in the Assam Tribune said, "Accusing the BJP-led NDA of turning a blind eye to Assam's pressing problems, public activist Prof Deven Dutta today said that life-and-death issues such as illegal cross-border migration, recurring floods and erosion, stagnant agriculture, etc., were continued to be ignored by the new dispensation in the same manner as was done by the preceding Congress-led UPA regime."

"There is very little to differentiate between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UPA chairperson and Congress president Sonia Gandhi when it comes to addressing the burning issues of Assam. Similarly, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Water Resources Minister Uma Bharati and Agriculture Minister Radhamohan Singh have also made it clear that Assam's genuine interests are never a priority for them," Prof Dutta was quoted as saying in the daily.

Floods in Assam is "nothing new", still why no action so far?

"Flood condition is nothing new to Assam. I have been dealing with floods in Assam since 1970 onwards," Union minister for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Vijay Kumar Singh had once said.

But the question is if it is really not a new thing then why has nothing concrete been done so far to prevent such so called natural calamities, which in reality are man made.

Why not a serious thought on silting of Brahmaputra so far?

Experts have been saying that silting of Brahmaputra is a big problem and is also a reason of these floods, but the governments so far have not given a serious thought on this over the years. In forgotten Assam, floods inundate hundreds of villages and many precious lives are lost, but still no steps are taken.

Floods displace lakhs of people every year in this forgotten part of the country, but despite the fact nothing has been so far to prevent it. The Modi Government was applauded for the relief and rescue operations it ordered for J&K lets hope that the people of Assam and neighbouring areas, marooned by floods, heap praises for the government.

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