Flood alert after heavy rain in Assam, over 80,000 affected

The situation was particularly grim in Lakhimpur and Dhemaji districts in eastern Assam, where nearly 45,000 people have been affected.

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A father hold his child on back to take him to school at waterlogged Anil Nagar in Guwahati on Monday. (Source: PTI)

Written by Samudra Gupta Kashyap | Guwahati

Thousands of people across Assam have been affected after incessant rains over the last week caused several rivers, including the Brahmaputra, to overflow. The overflowing rivers have breached embankments, inundated villages and damaged standing crop, affecting over 80,000 people, according to a report by the state disaster management body.
Eighteen revenue circles in 10 districts have been badly affected by the relentless rains, stated the daily flood report issued by the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) on Tuesday. The districts of Lakhimpur and Dhemaji in eastern Assam, where nearly 45,000 people were affected by the overflowing rivers, were the worst hit.
In Tinsukia, another district hit hard by the relentless rains, authorities have already set up three relief camps. A sizeable portion of the Dibru-Saikhowa National Park in the district has been submerged by the rising levels of the Brahmaputra.
The floodwaters have also entered the Kaziranga National Park, forcing animals to move to drier, safer places.
While the Brahmaputra is flowing over the danger mark in Nimatighat in Jorhat district, several villages in the river-island of Majuli have been also inundated. Solengi, Chatrang and Sessa — all tributaries of the Brahmaputra — have  inundated villages and standing crops, affecting over 21,000 people in the Gohpur sub-division of Sonitpur district.
Nearly 38,000 hectares of standing crop, mostly paddy, have been damaged by the overflowing rivers, according to the ASDMA report.
Dhemaji district has recorded the worst damage, with 2,300 hectares of standing crop being destroyed while the districts of Sonitpur, Goalpara, Lakhimpur and Kamrup have also been affected.
- See more at: http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/over-80000-people-affected-by-floods-in-assam/#sthash.0Y5rJ55K.dpuf

Gorkhas in Assam demand ST status

New Delhi: Gorkhas living in Assam has demanded Scheduled Tribe (ST) status for the community and creation of an autonomous council comprising Gorkha inhabited areas.

The demands were placed before Union Minister for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Jitendra Singh here on Tuesday when a delegation of 'Asom Gorkha Sammelan' called on him to submit some of the long-pending grievances of the community.

The minister gave a patient hearing to the delegation and said he would personally follow up the issues falling within the purview of his Ministry and in case of other issues, he will take up with the departments and ministries concerned.

Singh said the Gorkha community has served the nation through thick and thin and their sacrifices are an example for others to follow.

Interacting with the delegation, the minister quoted Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw's famous observation "if a man says he is not afraid of dying, then he is either lying or a Gorkha".

The delegation claimed that in the Northeastern region, the history of 'Assam Rifles' and the 'Gorkha Regiment' is indeed the history of the bravery of Gorkha soldiers but unfortunately in recent times, the recruitment of Gorkha youth in India's defence forces has declined.

This is partly because of the reason that a Gorkha domicile certificate is expected from them. In addition, as per the gazette notification, the word 'Nepali' is used synonymously for a Gorkha individual and it creates confusion for the recruiting agencies.

They demanded that the Gorkha community certificate issued by the 'Asom Gorkha Sammelan' should be honoured for the purpose of employment or recruitment in defence forces.

The other demands made in the memorandum included setting up of a Gorkha cultural and heritage centre and simplification of the process for inclusion of Gorkha community members in the National Register of Citizens.