NORTH LAKHIMPUR, March 4 � The geo-tube embankment, made by the State Water Resources department with Central funding in 2009 off the river Brahmaputra in flood-erosion ravaged Maatmora region in Dhakuakhona subdivision of Lakhimpur district has been facing threats following its mutilation by miscreants since late February this year. The geo-tube embankment, used for the first time in India with a Rs 142 crore provided by the Central Water Commission was constructed by a Malaysian firm Emaskeira over a stretch of 5 kilometres on the Sisi-Tekeliphoota embankment in the Maatmora-Mishing-Baligaon area off the Brahmaputra river to save the entire Dhakuakhona and river island Majuli area from the annual havoc of flood five years ago. Since then the geo-tube embankment in Maatmora has been playing an important role in protecting the whole area from floods.
However, of late anti-social elements and miscreants have been damaging it by piercing the fabric of the sand-filled geo-tubes. On the night of February 25, miscreants tore and cut away a large amount of the apron of the geo-tube on the 1000 metre chain part of the geo-tube in Bagh Chuk area of Maatmora. The mutilation of the geo-tube was found on the river side of the embankment. In full flood season, the river water takes an opposite turn after colliding with the geo-tube releasing sands on the embankment side thus protecting the area from erosion. Now there is a threat coming to the embankment at Maatmora as river water could enter through the mutilated portions of the tubes in the coming flood season, reducing their height. Large amounts of sand filled inside the geo-tubes, is now coming out changing the shape of the embankment. So far no action has been taken by the authorities though the Executive Engineer of Water Resources, Dhakuakhona Circle had lodged an FIR at Dhakuakhona PS on February 26.
The Sisi-Tekeliphoota embankment off the Brahmaputra has already developing erosion in Takar-Chuk, Papoong, Madarguri, Jogi-Suti, Borbeel, Sheetaliya, Lutachur areas in Dhakuakhona and the recent mutilation of the geo-tube on the same embankment could bring further disaster to this entire riverine area in this incoming monsoon season if preventive measures are not taken. The geo-tubes, which have been the symbol of successful anti-flood management of the State in India, are public assets which must be protected. Public awareness is key to its safety and better maintenance.