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Floods triggering exodus from Dhemaji

By Ajit Patowary

DHEMAJI, Sept 11 � Flood has allegedly set in motion a process of exodus of the young people from Dhemaji district. In the face of the flood havoc of the rivers over the years, over 5, 000 youths from this north bank district have migrated to the other areas of the country in search of livelihood, claim the local people here. However, district administration has maintained that lack of employment avenues in the district has been compelling the youths to move to other areas in search of livelihood.

People here maintain that the Jiadhal alone with its devastation for the past several years, has made over 1,000 youths of the Pachim Dhemaji area, consisting of six Gaon Panchayats (GPs), to migrate to distant places located in the Southern and Western parts of the country in search of livelihood. Most of them are working as daily wage earners, or, labours in states like Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Maharashtra, among others.

During this flood season also, the Jiadhal has damaged the paddy fields of this area, comprising the GPs of Samarajan, Ghughuha, Ajuha, Batghoria, Narowathan and Jiadhal, and rendered most of the cropland infertile by burying them under thick cover of sand. The fisheries of the area have also been damaged by the Jiadhal floodwater and thus most of the families living in this area have been reduced into virtual paupers, said the local people.

The case of the Narowathan Pathalial Village is a convincing example in this respect. The Jiadhal damaged around 900 bighas of cropland in the Narowathan Pathalial village, popularly known as the No-2 Narowathan Village, under Narowathan Gaon Panchayat of the district. Besides, most of the residential houses of the village have also been damaged compelling the respective families to live in their granaries built on stilts for quite a long time. The paddy fields of the village won�t be cultivable at least for the next about three years, said the people of the village.

Their large paddy field called Chapori Pathar, comprising around 600 bighas of land, has now been turned into an infertile area by the thick layer of sand deposited by the Jiadhal floodwater, which entered the village through the Samarajan channel. It needs mention here that the Jiadhal has left its old courses�Moridhal and Eradhal--- several years back. The river is now flowing through the channels of the Kumatiya and the Samarajan.

The village has lost eight fisheries, each containing fingerlings worth between Rs 8,000 and Rs 10,000, and, over 45 kutcha houses. However, leaving aside the three kutcha graneries, the other graneries of the village which have been built on stilts have remained intact.

The Narowathan Pathalial village is set up over 100 years back by the farming families who migrated from the Machkhowa Pathalial Village, about 8 km east of this village. The village was a prosperous one with each of its 60 families reaping good harvest from their farmland, measuring around 10 bighas on an average. Each bigha of land in the village could produce at least 10 to 11 mounds of paddy. But the Jiadhal has turned it into a village of misery now.

Shiva Prasad Dutta (65), who retired as the Head Master of the Samarajan Swarnapith High School in 2007, said that his 12 bighas of paddy field, under Narowathan Development Block and Kechukhana Development Block, have been turned into barren land by the Jiadhal with thick layers of sand. Dutta is a resident of No-2 Narowathan Village.

Shiva Prasad Dutta�s brother Dharmewar Dutta (61), who is a farmer as well as a fair price shop owner, said that his 14 bighas of cropland have been totally damaged by the Jiadhal this time.

Dimba Konwar (58), a former teacher of the Butikor High School and now president of the Pachim Dhemaji Samabay Samiti Ltd, said that he has lost paddy crop on around three bighas of land. The fingerlings too in his fishery were totally washed away by the floodwater of the Jiadhal. He had fingerlings worth around Rs 5,000 released to the fishery, said Konwar.

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Floods triggering exodus from Dhemaji

DHEMAJI, Sept 11 � Flood has allegedly set in motion a process of exodus of the young people from Dhemaji district. In the face of the flood havoc of the rivers over the years, over 5, 000 youths from this north bank district have migrated to the other areas of the country in search of livelihood, claim the local people here. However, district administration has maintained that lack of employment avenues in the district has been compelling the youths to move to other areas in search of livelihood.

People here maintain that the Jiadhal alone with its devastation for the past several years, has made over 1,000 youths of the Pachim Dhemaji area, consisting of six Gaon Panchayats (GPs), to migrate to distant places located in the Southern and Western parts of the country in search of livelihood. Most of them are working as daily wage earners, or, labours in states like Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Maharashtra, among others.

During this flood season also, the Jiadhal has damaged the paddy fields of this area, comprising the GPs of Samarajan, Ghughuha, Ajuha, Batghoria, Narowathan and Jiadhal, and rendered most of the cropland infertile by burying them under thick cover of sand. The fisheries of the area have also been damaged by the Jiadhal floodwater and thus most of the families living in this area have been reduced into virtual paupers, said the local people.

The case of the Narowathan Pathalial Village is a convincing example in this respect. The Jiadhal damaged around 900 bighas of cropland in the Narowathan Pathalial village, popularly known as the No-2 Narowathan Village, under Narowathan Gaon Panchayat of the district. Besides, most of the residential houses of the village have also been damaged compelling the respective families to live in their granaries built on stilts for quite a long time. The paddy fields of the village won�t be cultivable at least for the next about three years, said the people of the village.

Their large paddy field called Chapori Pathar, comprising around 600 bighas of land, has now been turned into an infertile area by the thick layer of sand deposited by the Jiadhal floodwater, which entered the village through the Samarajan channel. It needs mention here that the Jiadhal has left its old courses�Moridhal and Eradhal--- several years back. The river is now flowing through the channels of the Kumatiya and the Samarajan.

The village has lost eight fisheries, each containing fingerlings worth between Rs 8,000 and Rs 10,000, and, over 45 kutcha houses. However, leaving aside the three kutcha graneries, the other graneries of the village which have been built on stilts have remained intact.

The Narowathan Pathalial village is set up over 100 years back by the farming families who migrated from the Machkhowa Pathalial Village, about 8 km east of this village. The village was a prosperous one with each of its 60 families reaping good harvest from their farmland, measuring around 10 bighas on an average. Each bigha of land in the village could produce at least 10 to 11 mounds of paddy. But the Jiadhal has turned it into a village of misery now.

Shiva Prasad Dutta (65), who retired as the Head Master of the Samarajan Swarnapith High School in 2007, said that his 12 bighas of paddy field, under Narowathan Development Block and Kechukhana Development Block, have been turned into barren land by the Jiadhal with thick layers of sand. Dutta is a resident of No-2 Narowathan Village.

Shiva Prasad Dutta�s brother Dharmewar Dutta (61), who is a farmer as well as a fair price shop owner, said that his 14 bighas of cropland have been totally damaged by the Jiadhal this time.

Dimba Konwar (58), a former teacher of the Butikor High School and now president of the Pachim Dhemaji Samabay Samiti Ltd, said that he has lost paddy crop on around three bighas of land. The fingerlings too in his fishery were totally washed away by the floodwater of the Jiadhal. He had fingerlings worth around Rs 5,000 released to the fishery, said Konwar.