JORHAT, April 28 - Massive erosion of Dikhow river during this pre-monsoon period has posed a serious threat to a major protection work on the south bank of the river at historic Dikhowmukh as the officials of district administration and the Water Resource Department allegedly refrained from taking proper initiatives to ensure safety of the embankment and the protection works mainly at Raghubari and Bharalua village of the area.
Local citizens said that they have been repeatedly requesting the MLA and the government officers of the department concerned for the last two years to protect the embankment from erosion.
�But neither the local MLA nor the Water Resource Department�s officials paid any heed to this request of the people. The major protection work, for which the Water Resource Department had spent over Rs 4 crore in 1997, is about to be severely affected by the erosion at Raghubari village while another site of erosion in Bharalua village posed serious threat to Dikhowmukh Higher Secondary School as well as several revenue villages of the area,� said an elderly citizen of Dikhowmukh.
Erosion started at the easternmost point of the mega-protection site and the landmass and the pitched-stones could not withstand the current of the pre-monsoon waters.
After the tenure of the then Water Resource Minister Promod Gogoi, neither any people�s representative nor the officials of administration paid any heed to the serious problem of erosion at Dikhowmukh that caused devastation at the riverside areas.
Farmers of the agrarian area have lost hundreds of hectares of fertile agricultural land at the area in the past few years and the affected families have not got any compensation for the huge loss. Neither any of the representatives of political party nor the officers of administration visited the affected areas to launch even a survey of the loss, said the villagers.
Several educated youths of the villages rued that some politically powerful persons of the Amguri Assembly constituency kept influencing the officials of Water Resource Department to allot the contract works to corrupt people, who preferred earning easy money without completing the protection works.
As the politicians, government officials and contractors are allegedly involved in the misappropriation of public money, no probe has been announced so far though the local public allege misuse of public funds at the protection works at Rupohimukh, Dikhowmukh and many other areas of the district.
District-level officials of the Water Resource Department have detected massive erosion at Raghubari, Bharalua and Khoradhara. The embankment on the southern part of Dikhow river was eroded severely at Raghubari, Bharalua, Khoradhara, Bhotiapar, Meteka, Namdongia Bangali Gaon, Dicial, Soukajan and many other densely-populated agrarian areas of the district, which �need urgent protection�.
Asked whether the department concerned has taken up steps to protect the major protection work at Dikhowmukh and the embankment at other locations of massive erosion, executive engineer of the Water Resource Department replied that they have started some works to ensure safety of the eroded embankment and the mega protection work at Dikhowmukh as a temporary measure.