ITANAGAR, Jul 9: Torrential rains in the Siang valley and Namsai district have affected several villages and nearby areas in both districts.
Different locations of Ruksin in East Siang and Nari-Seren area in Lower Siang districts bordering Assam have been affected by the monsoon rains.
The surging water of the Sille river, flowing down from Ledum hill in East Siang breached the right abutment of the Bailey bridge at Niglok on Thursday morning and snapped road communication between Ruksin and Bilat circles, our correspondent reported.
The turbulent water had earlier breached the abutment on 23 June. At the local MLA’s instruction, the Pasighat PWD division had repaired the breach.
Heavy rain also triggered massive landslides along the Nari-Ruksin PWD roads at several locations, disrupted road communication between Depi and Namey villages, and damaged vegetable and spice cultivation on the hill slopes.
The overflowing waters of the Depi, Deren and Gutun rivers turned into flashfloods in the downstream plains, damaging large areas of wet cultivation.
Villagers say that flood and erosion caused by the Depi river have eroded bamboo groves and fertile cropland and are posing a threat to the Depi-Moli lower primary school and the ABU church there.
According to the water resource department’s report, Pasighat recorded 168 mm rainfall on Thursday.
The Siang river was flowing below the danger level at Komolighat (Pasighat) till Thursday evening.
Landslide blocks Pasighat-Bomjir road
The Pasighat-Bomjir national highway (near the approach to the Sisseri bridge, and at 599+550 km between the Mebo and Bomjir end of the road project) has also been blocked by landslide.
East Siang DC Kinny Singh has issued a travel advisory, asking commuters to completely avoid travelling on these routes, especially during night hours, for three to four days.
The PWD highway executive engineer and the NHIDCL GM have been directed to keep men and machinery ready 24/7 at both points until full restoration of the routes.
Meanwhile, as per information received from the NHIDCL, the Pasighat-Pangin road is repeatedly getting blocked even after clearance. The DA has advised commuters to refrain from travelling on the route, especially at night.
Public cautioned against venturing into Siang
With the water level of the Siang river and its tributaries rising due to heavy rainfall for the last two days, the public has been asked to refrain from venturing into the Siang for fishing, swimming, etc.
(Two persons, identified as Gopal Mizar (35) and Monu Biswakarma (25) were rescued on Thursday morning from the Sibo Korong river by a team of the fire & emergency services and other security forces under the supervision of the East Siang SP.)
Rainfall is likely to continue for the next three to four days, as per the IMD weather forecast.
It is also reported that the flow of the Sibo Korong river has become more turbulent and has damaged the boundary wall of Giidi Notko at the northern end.
People living in the low-lying areas on either bank, such as Jarku, Paglek, SS Mission, Jarkong, Banskota, Berung, Sigar, Borguli, Seram, Kongkul, Namsing and Mer, near the Siang have been advised to remain alert.
The residents of Sibo-Siang Colony have also been advised to be cautious and alert.
The DA has activated the incident response system. The incident response team, the East Siang DDMO, the SDRF team, and all incident commanders of the district have been ordered to remain active and on standby.
The urban flood management cell has been directed to take immediate measures for urban flood management and mitigation.
All incident commanders are to keep a close watch on the situation and update the DC with the daily situation report for the next five days.
For assistance, the DA has provided the numbers of the district emergency operating centre: 94360 53326 and 94366 32759.
In Namsai district, while the water level of the Noa Dehing and its tributaries has decreased by 1.00 mtr, incessant rainfall in the past few days, combined with poor drainage, has flooded several parts of Namsai town and nearby villages, and affected agricultural lands.
Reportedly, the river has eroded its banks, affecting Silatoo Khamti, Rongalibeel, Dirak Miri, Kherbari and Murthy Camp villages.
The Dirak Nallah has also flooded the areas of Miri-Pathar and Kumari Khamti, while the Jengthu river has flooded parts of Manmow, Pathargao and Kaisu villages.
Union demands drainage work
The All Namsai District Students’ Union has written to the deputy commissioner regarding the situation and sought immediate start of work to construct a drainage system in entire Namsai town.
It also sought immediate removal of structures constructed by public or private parties that obstruct the right of way and fill up the water channels on both sides of the roads in the town.
The union highlighted the poor garbage management causing drains to clog up, and claimed that “the trucks engaged by the urban development & housing department to collect garbage are not performing their duties for the past several days.”
It also claimed that the government had released huge funds for the construction of a drainage system and management of solid wastes and garbage for Namsai township, besides a scheme for construction of a barrack for sanitation assistants in Namsai, which it said “remain constructed on papers alone.”
The union gave the DA two weeks’ time to initiate appropriate measures, failing which, it said, it would launch a democratic movement.