TEZPUR, Aug 27 – Continuous erosion caused by tributaries of the Brahmaputra like Gabharu, Belsiri and Jiabhoroli has turned serious in Sonitpur district during the last couple of days, posing a serious threat to many residents as well as to the very existence of many villages and Government assets.
It is to be stated here that more than 500 hectares of land of Sonai Rupai Sanctuary, more than fifteen bighas of crop land at No- 2- Jiagabharu area, Air-force station, Army Jal Kendra, including the Tashal Gaon, Uttar Misamari High School, Sialmari Gaon, Thekerajuli, Jungle Basti etc. villages and the Rupajuli and Dhendai Tea Estate under Dhekiajuli and Chardwar revenue circles in the district have seriously been threatened due to the severe erosion for last two days, rendering many people homeless. At the same time, due to the continuous erosion of Belsiri river at Nalini Duba area near Thelamara under Dhekiajuli revenue circle, many families have been displaced who are now sheltered at a local LP school.
More importantly, it is to be mentioned here that the greater Misamari area is important for the India’s second largest Army cantonment and the Sonai Rupai Sanctuary alongwith many public properties. However, despite its much importance in the field of countries defence and the natural resources reflecting an overall balance of eco-system, the on-going erosion problem is yet to draw the attention of the authority concerned including the Army and the civil administration. Local people of the Jiagabharu-Misamari and Tatshalgaon alleged that the greater area under the Sonitpur district and equally represented by Lok Sabha MP Josheph Toppo, Dhekiajuli MLA, Habul Chakrabarty and Deputy Speaker Bhimananda Tanti alongwith many developmental activities particularly the surface communication and checking of the on-going erosion caused by both Gabharu and the Belsiri rivers have been not given priority since a long time following which many indigenous people of the greater area and even the Army cantonment have been threatened. “Even after repeated pleas to the department concerned and the district administration it is seen that the Deputy Commissioner as well as the MP Joseph Toppo have completed their duty simply by giving a normal visit in the affected area which has severely displeased us and if it goes on so it is certain that within a very period the India’s second largest Army cantonment and the Sonai Rupai Sanctuary will be eroded leaving any sign of it”, the locals alleged and said that now for solution of their problems the people of the area have taken certain measures at own cost like purchasing of bamboo and some other essential items for putting porcupines in the affected area so that they could be saved from erosion.
Meanwhile, socially aware people of the area informed this correspondent that if the authority concerned did not take any necessary measure to check the long pending vexed problem, they would take agitational programme in protest against the alleged indifferent attitude of the authority concerned, thereby placing their demand before the Government.
On the otherhand, Seikh Sahabuddin, a dedicated social worker of Panchmile area near here, informed that a number, of villages including Singitoli, Rajgar, Dikopraijan, Kurukani etc. villages under Tezpur LAC have been threatened due to the severe erosion by river Jiabharali. “At any moment, the area might be eroded posing a serious threat to the Tezpur University, Salonibari SSB camp and Solmara Air Force-station”, he said.
It needs mention here that during 2004, the flood and the erosion problem took a serious turn displacing many inhabitants and since then though many projects and schemes as well have been adopted, following rampant corruption and siphoning of funds allotted for controlling the problem, practically nothing is done and as result of the same, people of the area have been suffering years after years.