Hemanta Kumar Nath, India Today | June 29, 2020
The flood situation in Assam’s Kaziranga National Park the global stronghold of the one-horned rhinoceros – worsened on Monday after floodwaters inundated more than 65 per cent areas of the world heritage site.
Five animals including two one-horned rhinos have died in Kaziranga National Park during the current flood.
The forest personnel deployed in the national park have recovered two carcasses of one-horned rhinos inside the park area so far.Three hog deer died after being hit by vehicles. According to the park authorities, floodwaters have submerged 146 camps out of total 223 camps in the park.
Three camps of the park have been vacated due to the current flood situation.
On the other hand, many wild animals including one horned rhino, deer, elephants have taken shelter at highlands constructed inside the park and many animals came outside the park and moved towards the nearby Karbi Anglong hills area after the deluge hit most of areas of the park.
Many animals including herds of wild elephants, hog deer, swamp deer have moved to the nearby Karbi hills areas by crossing the National Highway 37 which is passing through the national park.
The park authorities and district administration have restricted the speed limit of all vehicles on National Highway 37 and introduced time cards to vehicles coming from both sides of the national park to provide security to the wild animals.
On the other hand, over 9.67 lakh people of 22 districts of Assam have been affected in the second wave of flood.
According to the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) reports, the floodwaters have submerged 72,246 hectares of croplands and affected 9.67 lakh people 2086 villages in 22 districts Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Biswanath, Darrang, Nalbari, Barpeta, Bongaigaon, Kokrajhar, Dhubri, South Salmara, Goalpara, Kamrup, Morigaon, Hojai, Nagaon, Golaghat, Jorhat, Majuli, Sivasagar, Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, West Karbi Anglong.
Nearly 29,000 people have taken shelter at 144 relief camps set up by the administration in the flood-hit districts.
Nineteen houses and an old hostel of a senior secondary school have been damaged in a flash flood in upper Djongu region of North Sikkim district, an official said on Sunday. The flash flood also affected 35 families, he said. Triggered by heavy rainfall over the past few days, the flash flood damaged the properties at Passidang village and its surrounding areas on Saturday, the official said.
The local administration has evacuated the affected families to the Public Health Engineering (PHE) department’s building at Passidang, the official said.
MLA from Djongu constituency Pinstso Namgyal Lepcha along with District Magistrate Tenzing T Kaleon and Superintendent of Police North Ongmu Bhutia visited the affected areas on Sunday.