GOLAKGANJ, Jan 20 – Severe and unabated erosion by the river Brahmaputra has threatened the existence of several GP areas along the 9 km-long Fakirganj-Airkata belt of South Salmara-Mankachar subdivision of Dhubri district.
According to reports reaching here, not less than four villages, namely Paitkerbhita, Betanipara, Khanapara and Sorakpara, including a part of Fakiraganj town under Fakiraganj GP and Ravatary Banskata GP have been completely washed away by the river, rendering over 2500 people homeless and forcing them to take shelter on or near the E& D bundh.
Similarly, the erosion of the Bramaputra river at the Airkata GP has also rendered more than 1500 people homeless, compelling them to take shelter on the NEC road side and other high lands. Thousands of others have shifted to other safe places outside Airkata-Fakiraganj areas.
The people rendered homeless under Fakiraganj and Ravatary GPs are taking shelter on the remaining portion of the E&D bundh at Fakirganj. But they may once again have to shift to other safer places as severe erosion by the river Brahmaputra is continuing.
A large number of erosion victims here have shifted to places like Chibinang in Garo Hills and Dhubri and Kokrajhar areas on the north bank of the river Brahmputra, according to another report.
More than 150 semi-RCC house buildings, 800 CL Sheet and thatched huts, including 500 acres of cultivable lands, have been washed away in Fakirganj and Ravatary (Banskata) GP areas alone. The affected people have taken shelter on the nearby Fakirganj- Nidanpur NEC road, while a large chunk of them have shifted to parts of the neighboring Garo Hills district and other places in the absence of any rehabilitation measures from the local administration.
The main Fakiraganj Bazar and the Airkata Bazar are hardly 40 metres away from the river bank and are in no time likely to be washed away.
The moment these two GP areas of Fakirganj and Airkata are eroded, the Brahmaputra will threaten the remaining few GPs like Banskata GP, Pampara GP and Salkata GP standing adjacent to Assam-Meghalaya border in Phulbari-Bholarbhita-Nidhanpur belt, leaving no place at all for human habitation within the subdivision area under Dhubri district.
In that event, nearly 50,000 people are likely to be rendered homeless with not less than 10,000 acres of land going to the river beds.
The form of erosion at Airkata area with a nullah opened through to join with the Jinjiram river passing through Garo Hills parts, is also likely to increase the volume of water of the Brahmaputra on the western side and that of the Jinjiram on the eastern side. Some urgent preventive steps are needed to check the river’s erosion at Fakiraganj belt.
Earlier, the Brahmaputra had eroded and washed away almost the entire Hamidabad GP area on the western side of Fakiraganj GP. The present course of the river Brahmaputra threatens the existence of Jamadarhat GP on the extreme north eastern part of the subdivision touching Goalpara district. Mostafa Ali Ahmed, ex-member of Zila Parishad Constituency , Fakirganj, said that erosion of the Brahmapura has very badly affected the nearby people of Fakirganj area. Many houses, schools, Government offices have gone into the Brahmaputra.
The people have demanded that the government should take immediate preventive measures to save the third township of this subdivision, Fakiraganj from disappearing into the river bed.