The flood situation in Assam continued to be grave on Friday with more than half of the districts submerged by waters of the Brahmaputra river and its tributaries, leading to the death of three persons and affecting 4.23 lakh people.
The swirling flood waters have forced the railway authority to control train services due to “settlement of tracks” in the Lumding-Badarpur hill section, Northeast Frontier Railway sources said.
According to Assam State Disaster Management Authority(ASDMA), the affected districts are Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Biswanath, Nalbari, Chirang, Golaghat, Majuli, Jorhat, Dibrugarh, Nagaon, Morigaon, Kokrajhar, Bongaigaon, Baksa, Sonitpur, Darrang and Barpeta.
Barpeta is the worst hit with over 85,000 people reeling under the impact of the floods, it said.
The ASDMA said nearly 800 villages in 41 revenue circles are under water and about 2,000 marooned people have been put up in 53 relief camps and relief distribution centres set up by the district administrations.
Kaziranga National Park, the famed habitat of the Great Indian Rhino and a World Heritage site, has been affected too forcing the authorities to set up road barricades on the national highway passing near it to limit the speed of vehicles, said Kaziranga divisional forest officer Ruhini Saikia.
The Golaghat administration has also imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 CrPC in the areas near the park as the animals are coming out from it to go to the Karbi Anglong hills across the national highway in search of safety in its high grounds.
To ensure the safety of ferry passengers in view of the rising water level and fast current in Brahmaputra, the Inland Water Transport Division has temporarily suspended operation of all departmental boats/ vessels in the Guwahati-based ferry services under it from July 12 till further order.
ASDMA said many of the rivers in the state are flowing above their danger marks in various places. Brahmaputra is flowing above the danger mark at Nimatighat in Jorhat and Tezpur in Sonitpur, while Dikhow river is doing so at Sivsagar town, Dhansiri river at Numaligarh in Golaghat, Jia Bharali at NT Road Crossing in Sonitpur, Puthimari at NH Road Crossing in Kamrup and Beki river at Road Bridge in Barpeta.
A Northeast Frontier Railway release here said that heavy rains have affected the train tracks between Jatinga Lumpur to New Harangajao station in Lumding Badarpur hill section of NF Railway.
The “track settlement” occurred at about 9.30 am on Friday making it unsuitable for train movement and repair work is on, said N F Railway Chief Public Relations Officer Pranav Jyoti Sharma.
As a result some trains have either been cancelled or short terminated, Sarma said.
The Sealdah-Agartala Kanchanjungha Express has been terminated at Lumding and will remain cancelled between Lumding and Agartala, while the Silchar-Sealdah Kanchanjungha Express which was scheduled to leave Silchar Friday will remain cancelled, he said.
The Guwahati-Silchar passenger, which left Guwahati on July 11 and arrived at New Haflong station this morning has been short terminated and will remain cancelled between New Haflong and Silchar, while the Silchar-Guwahati passenger of Friday has been short terminated at Chandranathpur station and will return to Silchar, Sarma said.
The railway authority has made provision for adequate drinking water for all passengers of the short-terminated trains at the respective stations and announcements are also being made to make passengers aware about cancellations and short terminations, the CPRO added.