About 56 rivers, both big and small flow into India’s Assam from Bhutan.
Guwahati: After a little relief, the flood situation has deteriorated once again in Assam with Bhutan deciding to release the excess water from 55 meter tall dams in eastern Bhutan adjoining Western Assam.
The Druk Green Power Corporation Limited (DGPC) of Bhutan, which runs the 60MW Kurichhu project in eastern Bhutan, had announced that it would release excess water from its dam. Several flood-affected districts in lower Assam are on alert following the release of excess water from the dam of Kurichhu hydropower plant in Bhutan early on Thursday morning.
In Barpeta district, the administration has sounded a red alert for people residing on the banks of the Beki and Pahumara rivers appealing them to move to higher and safer locations.
The deputy commissioner of Barpeta district Mr Munindra Sarma who is keeping a close watch on the situation said, “According to information, DGPC released water at 3 am and 5 am on Thursday morning. The released water will take several hours to reach us, but we are on alert.”
Besides Barpeta, Kokrajhar, Baksa, Chirang, Bongaigaon and parts of Kamrup districts are likely to be affected by the release of water from the Bhutan dam.
The authorities said that company opened the gates of the dam by 7 metres and 10 metres respectively on Thursday morning releasing around 1200 cubic metres of water per second.
The deputy commissioner of Baksa another district adjoin the border with Bhutan told reporters, “Both the state and national disaster response forces are on alert, Army personnel are on standby.”
It is significant that over 34 lakh people in 20 district of Assam are still reeling under the flood and at least 75 people have lost their lives so far. Over 2 lakh displaced people are still taking shelter in 933 relief camps.
Meanwhile, a friendship group across the Assam-Bhutan groups are also sharing the alert message on Whats App group. The alert messages circulated through Whats App indicated heavy flooding in and around Gelephu town in Bhutan.
About 56 rivers, both big and small flow into India’s Assam from Bhutan. The villages in Bhutan are in the upstream while the villages on the Indian side are in the downstream. Hence, these villages are often at the receiving end of the heavy rains as well as devastation created by the release of water by dams.