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PIX: Agricultural sector worst hit in Assam floods

Last updated on: July 9, 2012 22:02 IST

PIX: Agricultural sector worst hit in Assam floods

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K Anurag in Guwahati

The current wave of devastating flood that has lashed 26 out of the total 27 districts in Assam, has left lakhs of people from rural Assam penniless after their houses and paddy fields were destroyed in the flood waters.

The surging water that breached river embankments in many parts of the state has left the agricultural sector the worst hit. The flood has taken a heavy toll on the livestock. The rural economy is now in tatters even as the state government is groping for ways to provide respite to the farming community hit by the floods.

According to figures available with the state agriculture department 2,54,935 hectares of cropland has been affected by the flood. The crop loss has been well over 50 per cent in the entire flood-ravaged agricultural land.

Nearly half of the flood-affected cropland -- 1,23,281 hectares belonged to small and medium farmers. A total of 1,30,910 hectares of affected land belonged to farmers other than small and medium farmers.

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Tags: Assam , PIX

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State asks Centre to provide funds to strengthen river embankments

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While all the districts of the state except Dima Hasao (NC Hills) were affected, Barpeta district had the maximum cropland area affected by the floods at 32,221 hectares, followed by Lakhimpur (20,399 ha), Nalbari (19,901 ha), Darrang (18,415 ha), Nagaon (18,071 ha), Jorhat (16,021 ha), and Chirang (14,052 ha). 

The Assam government one Monday renewed its plea before the Centre for fund to implement a project to strengthen 3,340 km of "vulnerable" embankments along the Brahmaputra and several of its tributaries.

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'950 km of river embankment extremely vulnerable'

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"We have already requested the Centre to provide us 100 per cent fund for restructuring and strengthening river embankments in order to minimise the chances of floods. This apart, we also want to dredge the river-beds so that there was more space for the water to flow unhindered and without overtopping and breaching the embankments," Assam water resources minister Rajib Lochan Pegu said.

Assam has a total of 4,459 km of embankments along the Brahmaputra river and its tributaries, of which 950 km have been identified as "extremely vulnerable" and 2390 km "vulnerable".

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Embankments breached 56 times this year

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The embankments have been repeatedly breached by rivers during the flood every year. There were 234 breaches during the 1988 flood, 354 during flood in 2004 flood. The rivers caused 195 breaches on the embankment in 2007, while the number of breaches caused in the two waves of floods this year has been 56.



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