MIRZA, Oct 14 – The Assam Government’s tall claims of serving the poor people by initiating a host of anti-erosion measures to protect the flood and erosion ravaged people have been running into rough weather and in every case the so-called erosion measures launched in the last 50 years have failed to counter erosion of the river Brahmaputra.
This is what is proved by the formidable erosion by the river Brahmaputra in Chhaygaon LAC (Goroimari Revenue Circle) in Kamrup district of of Assam.
This correspondent observed that the constant formidable flood and erosion of the Brahmaputra river for last 40 years has made the people living in the riverbank areas in Chhaygaon LAC to incur irreparable losses and that erosion has taken a formidable turn this year in the char areas of Goroimari revenue circle eroding several villages making people landless and homeless.
“In the char areas of Goroimari Revenue Circle in Kamrup district, altogether 160 hectares of land has been eroded by the erosion of the river Bharmaputra this year, forcing over 100 families to shift their home to safer areas and that erosion has still been eroding new areas of the char areas of Chhaygaon LAC, said Dilwar Hussain of Batahidia char. Hussain said that erosion has taken a serious turn soon after the first wave of flood this year and that over 300 hectares of agricultural land have been transformed into barren sand island by the flood, making the once most fertile land to become infertile.
Giving a brief outline of the erosion scenario of the char areas of Chhaygaon LAC he said that over 30 families of Batahidia char, 35 families of Saralpara char, 20 families of Salmara char, 7 families of Koltuli Pathat char villages have lost their entire land, including the agricultural and habitation land this year into the river Brahmaputra, compelling them to become landless and homeless. He said that government has not implemented any anti-erosion scheme to fight erosion till date and they fail to protect the people in the char villages in Chhaygaon LAC so far.
Hussain apprehended that the char villages of Chhaygaon LAC would be erased from the map by next 5 years if such trend of flood and erosion continue. Saying that the char areas of Chhaygaon LAC are supplying the vegetable, paddy, wheat etc., to the mainland people in Assam, he asked the Chhaygaon MLA, Rekibuddin Ahmed to make a visit to the char areas to assess the damage made by the erosion in the char areas along with the senior Water Resources officials who have never visited the char areas till date to address the plight of the char denizens.
“Three waves of floods have ravaged the char villages including Batahidia, Maghuwa, Koltuli Pathar, Salmara, Balagaon, Nayapara, Khetropara, Saralpara in Batahidia Gaon Panchayat of the Chhaygaon LAC and we had been under water for the last 3 months. We begged for relief materials in the local Goroimari Revenue Circle office but we have been provided only 1700 grams of rice only for surviving for 90 days. Our crops have been devastated and the Chhaygaon MLA Rekibbuddin Ahmed has failed to provide us the compensation for losing our land. He failed to rehabilitated our landless and homeless people in the safer places. He paid a visit only for once but failed to address our grievances,” lamented Dilwar Hussain.
Villagers in the Jahirpur villages said that the vital embankment from Gumi to Goroimari, which has been protecting the people in the Chhaygaon LAC from the flood of the Brahmaputra, is lying as a very weak embankment and that the embankment, which is situated only 10 -100 (10 to 100) meters away from the mighty river Brahmaputra, have several leaks in several portions through which flood water used to come out to inundate the interior areas of the embankment that was the case of tension during floods this year. He said the embankment is now on the verge of breach. The Water Resources Department of the Government of Assam is playing hide and side and they have been delaying implementation of the anti-erosion measures in order to safeguard the embankment.
“The Government has constructed the embankment from Gumi to Goroimari to protect people from the flood of the Brahmaputra but nearly 20 per cent of the embankments have been touching the Brahmaputra river and a breach, due to the absence of the sound anti-erosion measures ahead of the embankments in the river bank areas, is imminent in this year or the next year that would cause severe losses to the people living in interior areas of Chhaygaon LAC.
Concerned officials should not think of delaying the implementation of the anti- erosion works in the project site in front of the embankment but raise their eyebrows so that the people in Chhaygaon do not suffer like in the past,” Said Azahar Ali of Jahirpur – Udmuri village of Chhaygaon LAC.
It may be mentioned that in 2001 a breach in the same (aforesaid) Gumi–Goroimari embankment at Alikash near Goroimari had resulted in damage of 500 hectares of agricultural land due to deposition of sand layers on it (land) and people in the interior areas of the embankment in Chhaygaon, Boko, Palasbari LACs had suffered irreparable losses in the form of agricultural land, cattle, human lives etc.
“The Government must ensure that the devastation in the wake of breach in embankment in Alikash in 2001 should not recur,” said Azhar Ali.