IMPHAL, May 23 : The breached portion of Imphal River bank at Kyamgei Muslim Oinam Loukon has expanded from 50 feet to 400 feet, sweeping away 15 houses and inundating 2000 paris of paddy fields. With huge volumes of flood water gushing through the breached portion, at least 15 houses have been swept away and 2000 paris of paddy fields have been inundated.
Local people told this reporter that Kyamgei Muslim, Kyamgei Muslim Konyaithabi, Urup Khunou, Urup and Arapti have been flooded. People were also apprehensive that Keirao Makting and Kabokpat may also be flooded as huge volumes of water are gushing through the breached portion. Apart from the paddy fields, vast tracts of vegetable farms have also been inundated. Although 15 houses were swept away, there was no report of any casualty.
Except for a police team from Irilbung station, no IFCD official could be seen when this reporter visited the area.
The villagers said that they received no assistance from IFCD last night when they were struggling to tackle the grim situation caused by breaching of the river bank. After retaining walls constructed some years back along the bank through the breached portion collapsed, the embankment was repaired by piling earth anew. This made the particular portion vulnerable to the strong force of the river current, explained one of the villagers. Another factor was the preparations for construction of a bridge between Kyamgei Shantipur and Arapti. There is no harm in constructing bridge but they were filling up the river bed with earth on either side to make the bridge’s span shorter. This impeded the river current leading to diversion of the water current’s force to vulnerable points upstream.
As long as this method of bridge construction is applied, Imphal River banks may get breached at any point between Ningomthong and Lilong as and when the water volume rises, said the villagers. Meanwhile waters overflowing from Kongba River have flooded Imphal East district headquarters (Porompat) and many Government offices including Imphal East DC complex, Imphal East District Police headquarters, JNIMS hospital and also schools and college located in the area. Modern College complex and its surrounding areas have also been flooded. Staff and students of the college have made up a footway to reach the college building by placing benches one after another.