The heavy rainfall on Wednesday morning caused flashfloods across the Itanagar capital region (ICR). The flashfloods and land blockages caused large-scale destruction in many locations. The worst affected were the low-lying areas in Naharlagun, Nirjuli and Borum near Yupia. Roads as well as private properties were damaged. Houses and culverts were extensively damaged. One of the most notable things was that the majority of the damage was manmade. Illegal earth-cutting done on the hillsides is the main reason for the damages.
Every year during monsoon, places like Naharlagun, Nirjuli and Lekhi suffer a lot due to illegal earth-cutting. Even in Itanagar, it has caused damage to NH 415 and various sector and colony roads. The district administration in a knee-jerk reaction issued warning to those indulging in illegal earth-cutting. However, as soon as the monsoon ends and winter arrives, everyone, including the administration, forgets all the sorrow and pain. This routine is repeated year after year. The weakness of the Papum Pare as well as the ICR administration is the main reason for the sufferings inflicted on the people due to illegal earth-cutting. It is time the government framed strong laws and came down really hard on people indulging in reckless earth-cutting, thereby threatening human lives and properties. Simply issuing notices and warnings won’t work. The words should be followed by practical action like arrest and imposition of hefty fines on such people.