Guwahati, July 12: It is not often that you would hear from a militant group taking up the cause of the flood-hit people of Assam. But it looks like the banned militant outfit, the United Liberation Front of Assam (Independent) or ULFA (I), has decided to use "flood" as an issue to reinvent itself and become relevant in today's time when the state's people have long come out from the shadow of terror.
The ULFA (I) has blamed the central government-owned public sector enterprise-- the North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO)--which is responsible for power generation across the northeast region--for making the flood situation in Lakhimpur district of the state worse.
According to reports, water released from the NEEPCO's Ranganadi dam washed away a 50-metre stretch of an embankment at Bogalijan in Lakhimpur district, about 5km from North Lakhimpur town, on Tuesday morning.
Because of the water released from the dam, several new areas of Lakhimpur have been submerged in water. Now, the flood water poses threat to the North Lakhimpur town.
The Ranganadi dam is situated in Arunachal Pradesh with a hydroelectric project producing 405MW power since its commissioning in 2001. The dam is on Ranganadi river, a tributary of the Brahmaputra, about 50km from Ziro in Lower Subansiri district and 150km from Itanagar.
On Tuesday, the Paresh Barua-led ULFA (I) demanded compensation from the NEEPCO for the affected people.
"The indigenous people of the affected areas have been rendered homeless and are not even getting drinking water. The NEEPCO is responsible for it. We demand compensation for the affected people or it will face dire consequences and will have to leave Assam and Arunachal Pradesh," said a statement from the ULFA (I).
Meanwhile, the death toll in Assam due to floods, landslides and electrocution has risen to 42 on Tuesday. In neighbouring Arunachal Pradesh, 14 people have died due to a massive landslide in Papumpare district.
Moreover, four persons of a family were killed and five injured when a concrete bridge on the Chathe river collapsed at Dimapur in Nagaland on Tuesday.
The tragic incident took place when a concrete pillar collapsed due to erosion towards the northern bank of the river near the Christian Institute of Health Sciences and Research (Referral) Hospital in the Central Jail area of Dimapur.