While 25 lakh people are affected by floods in Assam at present, over 24,000 others have tested positive for coronavirus in the state.
As many as 85 people have lost their lives due to floods while 57 others have died due to coronavirus in Assam, taking the total death toll to 142.
The state has so far registered nearly 24,000 positive cases for the deadly virus.
On the other hand, floods continue to create havoc in Assam as over 25 lakh people from 24 districts remain affected currently.
People in the state are not just affected by the coronavirus induced lockdown, but now, floods are also eating into their livelihoods.
Kamrup (Metro) resident Sunita Kakoti, 45, says that she used to sell vegetables earlier but the lockdown and coronavirus outbreak almost shut down her business. Her problems have increased manifold now due to the floods.
“Last year, we were on the roads for 45 days due to the floods and this year also the situation remains the same. Our house completely submerged by the floodwaters, we can’t even enter it. We don’t have any food, any income. I don’t know how we will survive,” Sunita Kakoti from Chandrapur told India Today TV.
Kakoti is not alone. 24-year-old Sangeeta Devi of Hatisila area in Kamrup (Metro) district narrates a similar ordeal.
“All our crops have been destroyed by the floodwaters. We are now living on roads after the floodwaters entered our house. Apart from the flood, we are also badly affected due to lockdown,” Sangeeta Devi said.
Daily wage labourer Puali Mahato, 55, resonates with the same sentiment.
“Since the lockdown, there is no work for daily wagers as we cannot go outside to look for work and are rendered penniless. Now our houses are flooded too. Though floodwaters are gradually receding, we are still living on roads,” Puali Mahato, a resident of Hatisila told India Today TV.
This year, floods devastated Assam three times in two months.
Over 54 lakh people of 30 out of 33 districts of the state have been affected in this year’s floods so far.
According to the Assam State Disaster Management (ASDMA) authority, nearly 51,000 people are currently taking shelter at 302 relief camps set up by the administration in the flood-hit districts, but thousands of other people are living on roads, embankments after the floodwaters entered their homes.
While the government is appealing the people to maintain social distancing norms to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, the reality is far different.
Social distancing norms have not been followed at the relief camps or on roads where the flood victims are being forced to live. Hundreds of flood-affected people are being forced to live in a cramped space.
Dealing with floods and coronavirus has become a challenge for the state government.