Assam: Excess Water from Karbi Langpi Barrage Inundates Vast Area

Diphu September 24: Vast areas of west Karbi Anglong on both sides of river Kapali were inundated after a release of excess water from the Karbi Langpi hydro electric barrage in Baithalangso since yesterday.

Incessant rainfall in the catchment of the river and in adjoining Meghalaya only added to the woes of the people of Baithalangso and adjoining areas, Borsoli, Borbil, Udmari, Lengari, Hongkram, Maisam, Charaisapi.

So far, around 14 villages have been submerged by the run over water of Kapali; spill over feeder streams of Kopali also deluged the main river of west Karbi Anglong which ultimately intermingles with Brahmaputra after crossing Nagaon district.

The 100 megawatt power Karbi Langpi hydro electric project freed thousands of cusec water after the echelon raised up to 315 meters, 6 sluice gates of the barrage discharged a surfeit of water in the early morning yesterday when heavy downpour was battering the area. Within a few hours, around 50 square kilometre area was under water, and hundreds of dwellings and household belongings were washed away by the torrent of the spill over Kopali. Many domestic animals were also swept away. People moved to higher places, and there is a scarcity of food and drinking water. It has made life very hard for the helpless people of this vast locality, because the inundation forced the village market to remain closed.

The water level has receded compared to yesterday’s devastating inundation, but due to continuing precipitation in the high altitude areas, the Lopali is flowing well above the danger mark, according to the hydro electric project authority. If this state of affairs does not improve, more surplus water will be released from the barrage.

Sushanta Roy is a journalist in Assam, India, who photographs and writes about the people, animals and flora of Assam, and the things that affect them.