GUWAHATI, Oct 12 - Newly appointed Brahmaputra Board Chairman Nikhilesh Jha and its Vice Chairman Chaman Lal are scheduled to visit Majuli on October 14 to take stock of the erosion-related situation in the river island, which faced severe erosion in many areas this rainy season.
The river island is relentlessly trying to wrest the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation�s (UNESCO�s) World Heritage Site status for the past several years.
According to knowledgeable circles, the Vice Chairman of the Board arrived at the Board�s headquarters here today and the Chairman is expected to arrive at the Board headquarters by tomorrow.
It needs mention here that for the past about seven months, the Brahmaputra Board had virtually remained headless sans its Chairman and Vice Chairman, and hence was in a state of disarray.
The Union Government appointed the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Board, along with its Financial Adviser, early this month. Nikhilesh Jha is also holding the post of Additional Secretary and Mission Director of the National Water Mission, while Chaman Lal is the Engineer-in-Charge of the Haryana Government. He is also with the National Water Mission for Clean Ganga.
The Brahmaputra Board is implementing the Majuli Protection Work since 2004 to protect the river island from erosion. Phase-I of this project has been completed long back and works under phases-II and III of the project are under various stages of completion.
But, due to its own organisational problems, the Brahmaputra Board failed to undertake emergent anti-erosion measures on time in Majuli this rainy season. This resulted in severe erosion in a part of the Kamalabari ferry ghat.
Erosion was also reported from areas like Garukhuti, downstream of Kamalabari. Some spurs in the island were also partially damaged by the Brahmaputra. The Board is yet to take steps to repair the damages caused by the river to the spurs.
There has been a lot of uproar following the failure of the Board to undertake emergent anti-erosion measures in Majuli this time.
The phase-I of the Majuli Protection Work is worth around Rs 54 crore, while its phases-II and III are worth Rs 115.99 crore.