Declare Deluge in North and East India as National Calamity: AIKS
· 729 deaths in four states of Bihar, West Bengal, Assam and UP in August
· Declare flood in northern and eastern India as national calamity
· Expedite relief operations on War Footing
SERIOUS flood situation has disrupted life in many states in northern and eastern India especially Bihar, West Bengal, Assam, and eastern Uttar Pradesh. The north eastern states like Tripura, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh also are affected and deaths and loss of crops reported.
729 people have died as on August 22 with 361 in Bihar alone while 152 deaths have been reported from West Bengal and 154 in Assam and 82 deaths in eastern UP. Even then there is no much coverage about the gravity of the flood situation in the mainstream national media.
The deluge has affected 3.42 crore people in these four states with 1.50 crore people in West Bengal and 1.46 crore people in Bihar, 26 lakh people in Assam and 20 lakh people in UP. In Bihar alone, nearly four lakh hectares of farm land has been submerged.
According to reports, 4.38 lakh people have taken shelter in relief camps out of which 3.27 lakh is in Bihar alone. In Assam, 68,000 people are still living in 328 relief camps.
Apart from excessive rain, flood in north Bihar, north Bengal and north-east UP is due to rains in mountain regions of Nepal from where about a dozen small and big rivers flow to plain areas of northern India causing heavy flood for the last few weeks. Rivers are overflowing, breaching bunds at many places, damaging crops, houses, roads and buildings. Flood is sweeping live stocks and drowning people. In the forest area of Assam, reports of death of hundreds of wild animals are reported. People are stranded in vast flood affected regions without adequate food and cloth.
GOVERNMENTS MUST GIVE UP CALLOUS ATTITUDE
Compared to the gravity of the flood, the government machinery did not succeed in ensuring effective relief operations. The administration was ill equipped to arrange safety boats and relief materials and put up camps especially in Bihar, Assam and West Bengal. If the governments were equipped to meet such natural calamity the number of deaths could have been reduced. In May-July period in the first spell of monsoon, around 700 people had died across India in which 213 people were killed in Gujarat alone. 1.3 lakh people were relocated there and 4000 cattle died in the deluge.
AIKS, in a statement issued on August 23, has demanded that the central government and governments of the respective states give up callous attitude and intensify immediate relief and rescue operations on war footing. Central government must declare the deluge as national calamity and announce compensation of Rs 5 lakh to dead and Rs 2 lakh to those seriously injured. Governments must immediately restore communication and provide food and clothes to all victims.
AIKS praises its cadres and volunteers who are engaged in relief and rescue work risking their lives. AIKS call upon all sections of the people and mass and class organisations to come forward to provide relief to the flood affected people.