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Rs 200-cr Majuli protection work behind scheduleAjit Patowary

 GUWAHATI, Sept 12 - The execution of the around Rs 200-crore Majuli protection work of the Brahmaputra Board, though slightly behind schedule due to certain problems of the contractor’s company engaged in this work, is now targeted to be completed during the next working season. The project is taken up for the physical protection of the world famous island from erosion, said highly placed sources in the Brahmaputra Board.

The Board sources maintain that this project is proposed to save the south bank of the island from the erosion caused by the Brahmaputra. Execution of the project started in February this year.

One component of the work is bank revetment in the vulnerable reaches (about 11 locations) by using sand/silt-filled geobags between Tekeliphuta in Upper Majuli in the upstream and Chamoguri village in Ahotguri Mouza in Lower Majuli, covering a length of 27 km, out of the about 85-km length of the river island in this stretch.

The other component of the work is construction of RCC porcupine screens/spurs/dampeners in 41 locations in the above stretch, between Tekeliphuta and Chamoguri.

The work was awarded in favour of TK Engineering Consortium Pvt Ltd, Naharlagun, Arunachal Pradesh, in November last year. The time allowed for completion of the project is 18 months, which expires by May next year. The progress of the work so far is slightly behind schedule.

This has led to serious concern among the Brahmaputra Board authorities as well as the State government. The Board is intensely pursuing the matter, say the sources.

In the south bank areas of the river island, the State Water Resources Department (WRD) is mandated for controlling flood, while the Brahmaputra Board is engaged in the anti-erosion works to save this bank of the island from Brahmaputra erosion.

On the north bank of the island, the WRD is mandated to tackle both the problems of erosion and flood.

On the problem of flood faced by the river island, Board sources maintain that the island is facing the problem of flood mainly due to the fact that it has an elongated shape. The areas left outside the embankment on the river side are facing this problem.

Engineering norms have made it mandatory for the agencies engaged in flood control works in the island to leave certain areas outside the embankment on the riverside to allow the river water to play. This is causing flood in these areas, say the sources.

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