NORTH LAKHIMPUR, Oct 1 - Lakhimpur district, which experienced the worst flood of the State this year, is now facing severe siltation problem. Floods in the district, it may be mentioned, was caused primarily by the Ranganadi, which breached its embankments at Bogoleejan near North Lakhimpur and at Jainpur-Aamtola in Panigaon and destroyed several hectares of agricultural land, thereby affecting thousands of agrarian families. After the receding of flood waters in these areas, the affected people are now facing another problem of siltation which also damaged other infrastructure like houses, schools and roads, besides huge agricultural lands.
According to the District Agriculture Office, a total of 3,564.66 hectares of land has been affected by siltation during this year’s flood in the district. The flood also damaged 137 villages of 13 Agriculture Development Circles with a population of 8,200. The worst-hit areas of siltation in the district are North Lakhimpur Agriculture Circle where 1,160 hectares of land in 44 villages have been hit by siltation, thereby affecting 2,890 families.
This is followed by Panigaon Agriculture Circle where 1,080 hectares of land belonging to 27 villages have been hit by siltation, thereby affecting 1,900 families.
In terms of cropland damage by siltation, the situation is more alarming. According to the District Agriculture Office, the total number of cropland damage by siltation in Lakhimpur district is 24,511.04 hectares in seven revenue circles. The worst damage was witnessed in North Lakhimpur Revenue Circle where 9,005.64 hectares of cropland was affected by siltation. The croplands which were damaged by siltation in this year’s flood were known for its fertility.
It is on record that the presently-silted land had once produced high quality paddy and other foodgrains during the kharif season and varieties of vegetables during the rabi season. But the deposit of sand ranging from 1- 5 feet thick has destroyed any possibility of ever-growing crops in the near future.
Staring at the face of imminent starvation, the affected familis obviously face an uncertain future with the passing of a year without any harvest as their stored rice from last season’s were also destroyed by the deluge. The possibility of food crisis and hunger looms large among these affected families if immediate measures are not initiated by the concerned State agencies. The landless agricultural labourers who worked in croplands in these areas also see no option now, but to migrate for work . As the agriculture sector of the State battles climate change, this phenomenon of siltation of croplands in Lakhimpur district portends a bleak future.