Guwahati, Aug 6: Thousands of people in 116 villages of Assam's Golaghat district have been affected by flooding after excess water was released from a dam located at Nagaland's Wokha district, officials said.
The dam is run by the North East Electric Power Corporation Limited (NEEPCO). This is the second wave of floods since last week affecting 1,04,205 people in five districts -- Golaghat, Sivsagar, Dhemaji, Lakhimpur and Darrang. Over 93,000 marooned people are from the 116 villages of Golaghat, officials added.
Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) officials said the floods have also affected 7,424 hectares of agricultural land and over 26,000 people have taken shelter in 123 relief camps opened by the state government. Large tracts of paddy fields are also covered with sediments affecting the farmers.
Various organisations, including the All Assam Students' Union (AASU), Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) and Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva Chatra Parishad (AJYCP), have criticised NEEPCO for releasing water without informing the villagers. They have demanded compensation for the affected people.
"The NEEPCO has not only released water from its reservoir but also sediments, which have submerged the paddy fields and houses of villagers in the 116 affected villages. The farmers have lost livelihood as the sediments have covered their paddy fields. Houses and livestock have been washed away," KMSS leader Akhil Gogoi said on Monday.
NEEPCO on Monday clarified that due to incessant rain in the upper catchment area, the water level of the reservoir had started increasing abruptly since July 25.
"The sudden rise in water level on July 31 necessitated releasing of excess water," said NEEPCO in a statement issued on Monday. The NEEPCO authorities said they have shared the information with the Golaghat district administration.
Two waves of floods have affected Assam since June, affecting more than 10 lakh people. According to the ASDMA, 42 people have so far died due to floods in various parts of the state.