NEW DELHI, April 3 - The Centre today confirmed that Majuli river island has shrunk by 31.58 per cent from 1914 to 2004. According to a survey, the river island, which was 734 sq km in 1914, was reduced to 502.21 sq km in 2004.
Minister of State for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation and Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal said that the Brahmaputra Board took up protection works of Majuli in January 2004 and since then no further loss of land mass of the river island has occurred. Not only the trend has been arrested, but as per satellite imagery, 22.08 sq km area has been reclaimed from 2004 to 2016. The Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) in October 2017 has constituted a high-level committee under the chairmanship of NITI Aayog vice chairman for proper management of water resources of the northeastern region.
A comprehensive proposal �Protection of Majuli Island from flood and erosion of River Brahmaputra� has been framed and approved to take up anti-erosion measures in all major erosion reaches of the southern bank of the river island to provide reasonable protection against flood and erosion. The estimated cost of the project is Rs 233.57 crore. Out of the total estimated provision of Rs 233.57 crore, an amount of Rs 207 crore is being funded by the DoNER from the Non-Lapsable Central Pool of Resources (NLCPR). With the implementation of the project, it is proposed to effectively protect 80-km vulnerable reaches of the river island on the right bank of the Brahmaputra.
The Government of India launched the Flood Management Programme (FMP) for providing Central assistance to states for works related to river management, anti-erosion, restoration of damage, flood management works, anti-sea erosion, etc. Under this programme, the funds released to Assam during the 11th and 12th five-year plans amounted to Rs 813.75 crore.