JORHAT, April 8 - The State Government has released funds to undertake protection work at Nematighat here to check unabated river bank erosion in the area by the mighty Brahmaputra.
Jorhat Deputy Commissioner Narayan Konwar told The Assam Tribune today that the Government had released funds for undertaking protection work immediately by the Water Resources Department.
Konwar said that the Government has released funds in two packages, with Rs 1.76 crore for one component and Rs 14.9 crore for the other component.
The Deputy Commissioner said the works will include installing geo-mats, geo-bags and putting up porcupine structures to check erosion.
He said that work will be carried out in a speedy manner and be constantly monitored by senior officials of the department and the district administration.
AASU and several other student bodies, including AJYCP have been staging protests at Nematighat and in front of the Jorhat Deputy Commissioner�s office in recent times demanding the Government to immediately carry out protection work to check erosion and thereby save Nematighat and its adjoining areas.
It may be mentioned here that the waterway communication link to river island Majuli is from Nematighat in Jorhat district, which during the past three decades has witnessed massive river bank erosion leading to the ghat being shifted from one place to another at frequent intervals despite several projects being undertaken by the Government.
Massive erosion in the area has not only gobbled up many villages over the years and rendered hundreds of otherwise well-to-do people homeless, thereby forcing them to migrate to safer areas. Further, erosion has visibly increased the threat level of submerging Jorhat town, with the river menacingly inching closer to the Bor Ali embankment with each passing year.
The Brahmaputra, which in the past decades had been flowing 200 metres away from the embankment, was now only a few metres away from the embankment.
The Nemati-Hatishal scheme, which was a big project in terms of money (Rs 38 crore) and area (13-km) undertaken in 1996 to save Jorhat�s western areas of the Brahmaputra bank from being washed away, and completed after a gap of 12 years, was becoming redundant as in the past few years erosion has occurred on a massive scale and was only increasing.
According to State Water Resources Department sources, anti-erosion projects undertaken at river island Majuli and at areas under Dhakuakhana sub-division of Lakhimpur district on the northern bank of the Brahmaputra during the past few years had led to substantial increase of water pressure in the Brahmaputra channel flowing by Nematighat, mainly due to an increase in the volume of water in the channel.
Sources in the department said piecemeal approaches by respective governments in tackling the problem of erosion instead of an all-encompassing Central plan had resulted in the problem being diverted from one area to another.