GOLAKGANJ, Sept 27 � Severe erosion caused by the mighty Brahmaputra river has threatened the existence of several villages along the 9-km Fakiraganj-Airkata belt of South Salmara in Mankachar subdivision of Dhubri district.
According to a report, four villages namely, Paitkerbhita, Betanipara, Khanapara and Sorakpara, including a part of Fakiraganj town under the Fakiraganj Gaon Panchayat and Ravatary Banskata Gaon Panchayat, have been washed away by the river, rendering over 2,500 people homeless and forcing them to take shelter on the nearby Embankment and Drainage (E&D) Department bunds.
Similarly, erosion at the Airkata Gaon Panchayat has also rendered more than 1,500 people homeless, compelling them to take shelter on the NEC Road and other highland. Thousands of others are taking shelter at safer places away from the Airkata-Fakiraganj area.
People rendered homeless in the Fakiraganj and Ravatary Gaon Panchayats areas are at present taking shelter on the remaining portion of the E&D bund at Fakiraganj. However, they may once again have to shift to some other safer place as severe erosion by the swollen Brahmaputra is on.
A large number of erosion-affected people have already shifted to places like Chibinang on the Garo Hills and Dhubri and Gauripur areas on the north bank of the Brahmaputra, according to another report.
More than 150 semi-RCC houses and buildings, 800 corrugated and thatched huts, including 500 acres of cultivable land, have been washed away in the Fakiraganj and Ravatary (Banskata) Gaon Panchayat areas alone.
The affected people have taken shelter on the nearby Fakiraganj-Nidanpur NEC Road, while some others have shifted to the neighbouring Garo Hills district of Meghalaya and other places in the absence of any rehabilitation measure from the local administration.
The main Fakiraganj Bazar and the Airkata Bazar are hardly 40 metres from the river bank and are likely to be washed away at any moment.
The Brahmaputra may also soon threaten the remaining few gaon panchayats like Banskata, Pampara and Salkata, which are located near the Assam-Meghalaya border in the Phulbari-Bholarbhita-Nidhanpur belt, leaving no place of habitation within the subdivisional area in Dhubri district. In case of such an event, nearly 50,000 people are likely to be rendered homeless with not less than 10,000 acres of land engulfed by the river.
The Brahmaputra had earlier eroded and washed away almost the entire Hamidabad Gaon Panchayat area on the western side of the Fakiraganj Gaon Panchayat. The present course of the river threatens the existence of Jamadarhat Gaon Panchayat on the north- eastern part of the subdivision, touching Goalpara district.
Mojammil Khan, a social worker of Fakiraganj-Nisinpur area, said that erosion caused by the Brahmaputra has affected the people of Fakiraganj area. Numerous houses, schools and government offices have been eroded by the river, making thousands of people homeless.
The district administration has allegedly been unable to take any remedial steps or give due attention to the rehabilitation of the erosion-affected people.