Northeast

Water level of major rivers receding: Minister Awangbow Newmai

Manipur Water Resource Minister Awangbow Newmai said breaching, over-flooding, and seepage took place in 16 locations along Imphal River banks, and some overflow and depression of river banks along Nambul River also occurred.

ByIFP Bureau

Updated 5 Jul 2024, 9:54 am

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The water level of the major rivers flowing through Imphal Valley is receding but if the rain continues, there are high chances of flood as most river banks are in a vulnerable condition, Manipur Water Resource Minister Awangbow Newmai said on Wednesday.

However, no dead have been reported in Imphal valley though two people have died in connection with the Manipur flood, the minister said.

According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), heavy to very heavy rainfall is expected in most areas of Manipur till July 5.

Awangbow said that despite deforestation in hilly areas, encroachment on river banks is a major factor of flooding. However, river dredging is also important, and the state government is planning to find a permanent solution to prevent similar incidents in the near future, the minister said.

ALSO READ: Manipur: Minister Awangbow Newmai inspects river banks

He said mass deforestation for illegal poppy plantations in many catchment areas of Manipur is also a major factor causing floods in the state.

The minister added, “I have already highlighted earlier that each year deforestation takes place over around 420 square kilometers. If this continues, there will be no forest in Manipur.” Citing an example, the minister said that Singda Dam dried up last year and now it is flooded, which could be a fair example of ecological imbalance in Manipur.

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The minister said that most of the major rivers of Manipur passing through the Imphal Valley are still flowing at a high flood level. However, all of them are receding, he said, adding that there is an apprehension that if the rainfall continues, over-flooding could occur in more river banks. He said breaching, over-flooding, and seepage took place in 16 locations along Imphal River banks, and some overflow and depression of river banks along Nambul River also occurred.

Due to the breaching and overflow of Imphal River and Nambul River, around 1,340 houses were inundated with river water. The state government has opened three relief camps in Imphal West district, and with assistance from local clubs, more relief camps are also opening in some community halls and local club buildings, he added.

The government is using NDRF, SDRF, central forces, state forces, and Manipur Fire Service to rescue people in flooded areas. Presently, 25 NDRF personnel are involved in rescue operations, and 40 more NDRF personnel will arrive late Wednesday. The central government also assured that they would send more personnel to assist in rescue operations if necessary, said the Water Resource minister.

ALSO READ: Manipur government issues flood advisory

With precautionary measures, the joint rescue teams, assisted by local volunteers, are putting much effort into controlling the breaching, overflow, and depression of river banks, he added.

Meanwhile, Imphal West Deputy Commissioner Th Kirankumar also came to Singjamei to monitor the flood control team and rescue operation.

On the sidelines, he told the media at Singjamei that the district administration is providing necessary assistance to rescue the affected people in the Singjamei area. Due to the breaching of the western bank of Imphal River at Singjamei Oinam Thingel, many households were affected.

Presently, the district administration has opened a relief camp at Singjamei community hall near Singjamei parking, Imphal West, and essential items including rice, dal, other eatables, and drinking water are being provided.

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MAHUD Minister Y Khemchand, who is also the local MLA of Singjamei assembly constituency, also came to inspect the flooded area in Singjamei Oinam Thingel. He told the media that the IFCD department is trying to control the breaching of the river bank.

The government is taking necessary steps to rehabilitate the affected people. Responding to the media, Khemchand said that regarding compensation from the government, the state cabinet will discuss it.

NPP MLA Sheikh Noorul Hassan, local MLA of Keshtrigao assembly constituency, told the media at Keshtri Awang Leikai in Imphal East that the overflowing of Iril River on the western side started late Tuesday evening.

ALSO READ: Manipur's capital city Imphal apprehensive of flood for second time

He said the Iril river bank was found to be overflooded for around 350 feet. But as the government was not able to take swift action, the locals of the area took the initiative to control the overflow of the Iril river.

Noorul said he had already placed a proposal to the government for the construction of a retaining wall along the vulnerable areas of the Iril river stretch, but the proposal has not been converted into action. If the government were proactive, then the people of the area and its surroundings could have been prevented from flooding.

He appealed to the concerned authority and department to conduct a proper survey to find out the vulnerable areas along the Iril river stretch to prevent similar incidents in the near future.

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imphalawangbow newmaimanipur flood

IFP Bureau

IFP Bureau

IMPHAL, Manipur

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