Brahmaputra flood waters enter Kaziranga

Officials say they have intensified security to protect rhinos

Brahmaputra flood waters enter Kaziranga

Flood waters from the Brahmaputra river entered Assam’s Kaziranga National Park — famous for its one-horned Rhinos — inundating majority of its 858 sq km area.

“Almost all the low-lying areas of the park are under water,” said park director M K Yadav.  However, he said, “The flood is a welcome event every year as unwanted weeds are washed away. This is vital for the ecosystem of the park.”

The park official also said that the water levels are stable and there was no immediate threat to the inhabitants.

“The water level is expected to recede after three to four days,” he said.

According to Yadav, it is a matter of worry only when there is high flood when some animals stray outside the park while searching for higher grounds.

The park authorities have strengthened security as poachers take advantage of the flood to kill animals, particularly one-horned rhinos.

Another top official explained that during the floods, the animals especially one-horned rhinos, stray outside the park and go towards the Karbi Anglong Hills looking for higher grounds.

“It is very difficult to track these animals and it becomes easy for the poachers to kill the rhinos,” said another official adding that they have upped patrolling and put everyone on high alert. They have also upped the deployment of forest guards.

Earlier, the authorities had repaired the natural highlands and created artificial highlands in the park for the animals to take shelter during floods.

Now, restrictions have also been put on the speed of vehicles plying on National Highway 37 that runs through the park.

This move was deemed crucial at night when the animals in distress which try to cross the highway are hit by speeding vehicles.

Bihar

In Bihar, nine districts have been hit by the floods which have claimed two lives so far and affected around four lakh people. Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, accompanied by Chief Secretary Anjani Kumar Singh and Disaster Management Department (DMD) Principal Secretary Vyasji, conducted an aerial survey of the inundated areas and ordered all out efforts to provide relief to the people.

 “Express relief measures should be taken. There is no dearth of funds for the purpose and money will be immediately allocated for it when officials bring it to our notice,” said Manjhi after taking a first hand account of the affected areas.

Darbhanga, Nalanda, West Champaran, Supaul, Saharasa, Nawada, Sheikhpura, Sitamarhi and Patna district have been affected by flood, a senior DMD official said. Two persons died in flood in Saharsa district on Sunday. Around 38,000 people have been evacuated so far and 75 relief camps have been set up in the affected districts.

 Talking about Darbhanga and West Champaran, where floods have come due to breaches in the embankments of Kamla Balan and Gandak rivers, the DMD Principal Secretary said the repair work is on.

Jammu and Kashmir

In Jammu and Kashmir, two women were washed away in flash floods triggered by heavy rain and another died due to house collapse in the Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir, even as over 30 flood-affected people were rescued in Samba district, officials said.

Arunachal Pradesh

In Arunachal Pradesh, incessant rain in the past couple of days has triggered floods and landslides in several districts disrupting road communication and throwing normal life out of gear.

PWD(Highway) chief engineer Hage Appa said  landslides triggered by heavy rain on Friday disrupted surface communication between Itanagar and Naharlagun and washed away road and culverts at sinking zone near Karsingsa.

The road communication between Banderdewa and Itanagar via Karsingsa remained disrupted for the third day on Sunday as a result.

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