NORTH LAKHIMPUR, March 16 - With the monsoon just two months away, villagers living along river banks here are presently spending sleepless nights as their homes and agricultural fields have already been subjected to unabated erosion across Lakhimpur district.
From Jamuguri on the Lakhimpur-Biswanath district boundary to Sisi-Tekeliphuta in Dhakuwakhona, continuous erosion by the Brahmaputra and other rivers have left thousands of villagers apprehensive of the ensuing monsoon, when these otherwise scenic meandering rivers virtually turn into torrents of raging water overnight.
Riverine villagers, mostly belonging to the ST and SC communities in Mohighjan under North Lakhimpur Revenue Circle, which is just five kms southeast from the district headquarter, threat from the river Subansiri is palpable. The area consisting of villages Kolakhowa, Pub Sagalikata, Ghagar Ghat, Kankurika, Parghali, Murorschiga, Eramora and Simoluguri, which have already lost a considerable portion of inhabited and agricultural land, including schools and other public institutions, is again witnessing massive erosion since January this year.
Unabated riverbank erosion in this area is presently approaching villages like Majorchiga, Mazgaon, Elengigaon, Mohighjan Misinggaon, Phechupathar, No. 1 and No. 2 Kurhimari, Badulipar and Patiyagaon, thereby threatening the existence of Mazgaon LP School and Debiram Panging High School. which are the only institutes of higher education in this area.
Further, the Subansiri river is only 600 metres away from the Bhimpora embankment, which is considered to be the protection dyke for North Lakhimpur. Fed up with the apathy by the concerned departments and State Government agencies, the villagers here, mostly hailing from the ST community, are planning to boycott the ensuing Panchayat polls.
In Dhakuwakhona sub-division, massive erosion by the Brahmaputra has been giving sleepless nights to thousands of riverbank villagers. The Brahmaputra is eroding its banks just 100 metres away from the Sisi-Tekeliphuta embankment where works under Flood Management Projects (FMP) are on.
Swirling waters of the mighty Red River has eroded a stretch of 500 metres from Modarguri to Pakung, sweeping away geo bags and gabion boxes used in the Rs 155-crore FMP work on strengthening of the Sisi-Tekeliphuta embankment. Work on this project has been stalled due to dearth of Central funds since last year. If left in its present state, floods may invariably cause massive devastation in the entire area from Dhakuwakhona to Majuli during the ensuing monsoon season.
The imminent threat of devastating floods wreaking havoc has been looming large among the villagers in the Aamtola-Joinpur areas of Lakhimpur where Ranganadi�s overflowing waters ravaged 22 villages last monsoon with breaches in the embankment.
However, tardy progress of work on reconstruction and strengthening of the right hand side embankment of Ranganadi at Joinpur is giving goosebumps to the concerned villagers prior to the ensuing monsoon. Incomplete work on the 180-metre stretch of the breached portion of the Ranganadi embankment is now ticking like a water bomb so as to explode when rain lashes the region � mostly in the neighbouring hills of Arunachal Pradesh where NEEPCO�s 500 MW Ranganadi hydro-electrical power dam releases excess water during the peak monsoon season. The dam over the Ranganadi was blamed for the devastating flood in Lakhimpur last year.
Similarly in Narayanpur Development Block of the district, flood-affected villagers of Kong Bong, Banmukh, Ker-ker, Sayangpatir, Borbeel, Dhenu Sapori are also fearful of having to face another seasonal havoc as even the mandatory repair works have not been done in their respective areas.