North Lakhimpur: Panic grips people living in the downstream areas of three major rivers on the north bank—Subansiri, Ranganadi and Dikrong, following the rise of water levels due to incessant rain and release of dam water.

The water level of Ranganadi and Dikrong are in spate following the release of dam water from the 500 MW Ranganadi Hydroelectric Power plant at Yazali inside Arunachal Pradesh by North East Electrical Power Corporation (NEEPCO) in the last several days.

People living in areas like Amtola and Malowal—worst affected by Ranganadi dam water in earlier times, are passing sleepless nights for the fear of another deluge.

Similarly, dam water released from the 110 MW Pare Hydro Electrical Project by NTPC-NEEPCO at Papum Pare in Arunachal Pradesh onto Dikrong has also swelled the river in its downstream areas in Lakhimpur district.

These fears are further compounded by yet another landslide in the 2000 MW Subansiri Lower Hydro Electrical Plant by National Hydro Electrical Power Corporation (NHPC) at Gerukamukh.

The project site, which has already been hit by flooding in its powerhouse and damage to its tunnels recently, suffered another blow when a landslide damaged its No. 2 diversion tunnel on Sunday. The landslide put the NHPC authority on high alert as panic prevailed in its downstream areas. When contacted an NHPC official said that repair work has been done on the damaged site.

The rising water of Subansiri has caused massive erosion on its right-hand bank in the Bhimpora area of the Lakhimpur district causing damages to its embankment in Ghansarai-Teliyapathar. The state water resources department has been conducting repair works in a war footing manner on the embankment and the district administration has placed an SDRF team to meet any eventuality in case of a possible breach of the dyke.

Heavy autumnal rain, unusual to this region, is leaving these major rivers along with other small rivers like Bogeenadi, Kadam, Singra, Charikodiya etc. This rain is largely attributed to climate change by the experts.

Farhana Ahmed

Farhana Ahmed is Northeast Now Correspondent in North Lakhimpur. She can be reached at: