A 2 km stretch of a four-lane National Highway that links Guwahati to northern Assam has been closed for traffic as farmers affected by the recent floods in the state have set up temporary shelters on the road.
With their houses and paddy fields under water, several farming households were forced to set up camp on the road to escape from flood water and to dry the harvest from their lands.
"I had six and a half bighas of farmland but I could harvest only half bighas as the flood washed the rest away. My house is also inundated but I am trying to save whatever little I have left. I have lost Rs 1.30 lakh so far and do not know how I will run my family," 45-year-old Baisistha Das, a farmer from Polaguri in Morigaon district of Assam, told NDTV.
The recent floods have affected over 82,000 hectares of cropland. In Morigaon district alone, over 13,000 hectares of farmland remains under water.
"We have 12-13 bighas of cropland in which we cultivate rice but we could only salvage grains from 3 bighas. We are very poor farmers and have taken huge loans to farm the lands. With the crops destroyed, how will we repay the loans," rued another farmer, Sharmila Deka.
The farmers are trying to make the best use of the National Highway to dry their harvest as earnings have been severely marred by the floods.
"In this area, about 80 per cent of farmland is under water. The priority now is to save the 20 per cent harvest so the farmers are using the highway to dry their crops. The authorities have closed a stretch to give them shelter and space to dry the grains," said Village Defence Party worker Patukan Bordoloi.
According to the Assam government, 5,80,145 people of 1,374 villages in 18 districts have been affected by the floods in the last 24 hours.
One death was reported in the last 24 hours, taking the toll due to floods and landslides in the state to 25.
The Assam State Disaster Management Authority, Nagaon district is the worst affected with over 3.46 lakh people suffering, followed by Cachar with nearly 1.78 lakh persons and Morigaon with more than 40,900 people.