GUWAHATI, Aug 19 - The hydel projects on the Subansiri river may have disastrous impacts on the largest inhabited river island Majuli, which is an important seat of Vaishnavite culture of the State. To pre-empt such catastrophic consequences, the Union government should initiate urgent measures for sufficient bank protection works, which would be able to survive any probable Tsunami-like situation arising out of the failure of the Subansiri hydel projects� dams.
This is the observation made by Bharat Saikia, general secretary of the Majuli Island Protection and Development Council and former superintending engineer of the State�s Water Resources Department (WRD).
Saikia, in a recent letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, argued that the strongest measures for the safety and development of the downstream areas of Subansiri river should invariably include Majuli Island as a part of the composite package.
The north bank of the famous river island should be so protected that it could resist the tremendous thrust of the Tsunami-type flow of the Subansiri in any eventuality of the failure of the dams being built on the river, Saikia pointed out.
He said that a WRD scheme for protection of the island�s north bank with an estimated cost of Rs 338.75 crore, is pending with the Central Water Commission for its consideration. This scheme needs immediate approval from the Union government, added Saikia.
Asked to explain his point on the devastating rise in the Subansiri flow, Saikia said it is a general principle that gushing water gets little scope to change its direction. The Subansiri has touched the north bank of Majuli Island perpendicularly at Jengraimukh by its old course and has touched the island diagonally at a place located 20 km downstream of Jengraimukh by its new course named Khabolu. In the event of failure of the Subansiri dams, the gushing flow of the river will get no scope to take the new course, rather it would take the old course and flow towards the Brahmaputra on the south bank of the river, washing away the island within minutes, warned Saikia.