The failure to apply any scientific and lasting methods to control terrible erosion sparked outrage in the Lakhimpur district.
There has been a terrible erosion caused by the River Subansiri at the 35-kilometre point of the river’s right embankment, known as the Bhimpora embankment.
Meanwhile, on Monday, Siddhartha Pathak, assistant general secretary of the All Assam Students Union (AASU) Lakhimpur district unit, expressed his intense displeasure with the situation.
Erosion causes a massive threat to the embankment
Moreover, the devastating erosion produced by the River Subansiri is currently posing a major threat to the right bank embankment at Ghancharai and Na-Ali in the Lakhimpur district.
The largest tributary of the mighty Brahmaputra continues its devastation at a 35KM stretch of the embankment at Ghancharai under Madhya Telahi Gaon Panchayat of the same development block, after eroding away an extensive area at Na-Ali under Panigaon Gaon Panchayat of Telahi Development Block recently.
The river’s continual erosion has eroded away the porcupines, which were erected last year and this year to prevent erosion, in monstrous proportions.
Further, the river has already covered a huge portion of the land, posing a serious threat to the embankment and around 30 families living in the impacted village.
The people of Lakhimpur Suffer immensely
Meanwhile, the families of Dhireswar Borah, Dilip Borah, Prafulla Kalita, Lavanya Kalita, Pona Borah, Bubul Bhorali, Lakhi Borah, Joy Kalita, Umai Borah, Hemanta Kalita, Manik Kalita, Nila Borah, and Dandiram Bhorali were forced to relocate to safer areas due to the river’s rapid erosion.
When this correspondent visited the area on Sunday to see the devastation, it was discovered that the family led by Nareswar Borah initiated moves to leave the area in order to save his property and family members.
Furthermore, within the last fifteen days, the river had engulfed an area more than a hundred meters wide from its basin to the embankment, according to locals.
“Now the difference between the river and the embankment is around only 20 metres. The river will erode away that stretch very soon. As a result of it, if the embankment breaches during the upcoming rainy season, the river will inundate more than 40 villages ravaging Na-Ali, Telia Pothar, Halodhiati and other neighbouring villages,” locals said in front of this correspondent.
Siddhartha Pathak’s displeasurement with the situation
“No scientific, effective measure has been implemented to check the perennial erosion of the Subansiti River at Ghancharai, Na-Ali areas of the district. In this connection, consecutive protest programmes were demonstrated in addition to submitting several memoranda to the Water Resources Minister and the department concerned in the past days. But all such efforts went in vain and turned meaningless. It is unfortunate,” according to Siddhartha Pathak.
In addition, he alleged, “The river has been eroding away a large area of cropland. The people, whom the river made homeless in 1991, and 1992, have not got a piece of land for their rehabilitation to date. At present also, the river has posed a massive threat to over 700 families living under the Telahi Development Block.”
He went on to say that previous Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, and then Water Resources Minister Keshab Mahanta pledged to fix the burning problem as soon as possible by establishing efficient erosion control measures when visiting the afflicted site before the Assembly Election.
However, these pledges were not kept Siddhartha Pathak retorted.
Notably, in the last two years, two erosion prevention measures have been installed in this impacted area.
Moreover, in 2020-21, a programme to install porcupines with Rs. 1.50 crore investment was executed. In contrast, another SDRF plan with an Rs. 2 crore expenditure for the installation of RCC porcupines from the embankment’s 34,500-metre point to the 37,100 points was implemented in 2018-2019.
However, the implementation of the two programmes has currently gone up in smoke due to their ineffectiveness.