Mangaldai: In a rare incident of raising a protest over the alleged failure of the authorities to decide their fate a section of flood-ravaged people under Rangamati Panchayat near here on Saturday have cut apart around a portion of an embankment along the river Saktola to show the flood water the path back to the river.

Several hundreds of worst flood-affected people mostly taking shelter in the flood relief camps came out strongly with spades and axes in hands at about 11 am and cut apart around a thirty-meter stretch of the embankment of river Saktola to make the waterlogged in the area a natural way into the riverbed. The incident took place in quite a peaceful manner.

Though Deputy Commissioner of Darrang Pranab Kumar Sarmah rushed to the spot and tried to pacify the aggrieved villagers to keep them refrained from excavating the stretch of the embankment, the villagers defied him. The armed security forces deployed in the area for the last two days to thwart any such attempt of damaging the public properties too remained a mute spectator. 

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Later in the evening talking to Northeast Now over the phone, Deputy Commissioner Sarmah said that the incident took place at night and people gathered there long before he arrived there and they were agitated about being captive under the logged water. 

“The incident took place at that point of the embankment where there was already a shippage and on Thursday night a similar attempt was made after which some temporary protection work was done”, he said.

“Now the water coming out of the area directly enters into the river without causing any problem.”, Deputy Commissioner Sarmah included.

Mention may be made here that following the breach of a stretch of the embankment of river Saktola for the second time on June 17, river Saktola changed its course flowing over NH15 and inundated a large area under the Panchayat and other nearby villages completely affecting nearly a 25000 population. 

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The entire volume of flood water unable to find its way towards river Brahmaputra through three very small sluice gates has turned the entire area into an artificial sea due to water logging in more than fifteen villages. The Water Resource Department too failed to find a scientific solution to pump out the large volume of flood water.

Mayukh Goswami

Mayukh Goswami is Northeast Now Correspondent in Mangaldai. He can be reached at: mayukh.mld@gmail.com