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Na-Pukhuri breach in Sivasagar to be plugged permanently

By AJIT PATOWARY

GUWAHATI, Oct 31 - The 240-year-old historic Na-Pukhuri, the 321-bigha tank dug during the reign of Swargadeo Lakshminath Singha (AD 1769-AD 1780) at Rudrasagar in Sivasagar district, is now gradually getting water accumulated within its edge. There occurred a breach on October 11, 2016, on the southwestern corner of the bank of this tank. This resulted in a massive loss of water from this huge tank. It posed a serious threat to the historical Shiva Doul located in the environs of the tank. The breach was temporarily plugged by the Archaeology Directorate on October 12, 2016.

This has brought a sigh of relief to the officials of the Archaeology Directorate here, as less water inside the edge of the tank means threat to the Shiva Doul built by Swargadeo Lakshminath Singha, just near the tank.

The Archaeology Directorate and the Sivasagar district administration have now decided to engage the Water Resources Department (WRD) to permanently plug the Na-Pukhuri breach.

The tank and the adjacent Shiva Temple were notified to be protected under the Assam Ancient Monuments and Records Act, 1959 and the State�s Archaeology Directorate was authorised to look after them. The entire area comprises 465 bighas of land.

According to Archaeology Directorate sources, the breach in the bank of the tank occurred around 3:30 pm of October 11, 2016. Earlier, this part of the bank was narrowed under the impact of some factors which were not natural.

On October 11, 2016, this part of the bank was breached under the impact of the pressure of the tank water. The water was full to the brim of the tank at that time. The breach thus caused was around seven-metre-long.

The southern and eastern banks of the tank are around 60 to 65 metres in width, while the length of these two banks is something between 800 metres and 900 metres.

There was an outlet on the southwestern corner of the southern bank of the tank. This seemed to be the cause behind the cracks that developed near the Shiva Doul campus in 2014. The outlet was releasing excessive amount of water from the tank. This dried up the tank.

For the Ahom era monuments, built by the side of the tanks, water plays a crucial role. It keeps the soft layer of clay laid under the structures wet. This layer of clay saves the structures behaving like sponge or cushion in the event of massive tremors like the ones that rocked the northeastern region in 1897 and 1950. This is the reason as to why there is no report of any such structure being damaged by such massive earthquakes, archaeologists here claim.

The State Archaeology Directorate with the help from the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) plugged that outlet in 2014, following the incident of cracks developing in the area close to the Shiva Doul.

There are, however, original outlets in these Ahom era tanks, which were connected with canals laid around the tanks. These canals are called yamunas. They take away the excess water from these tanks and thus save them from the pressure of the additional water, besides irrigating the nearby tilling fields and thus maintaining the ecological equilibrium.

But it was due to the anthropogenic pressure on land that such well-built systems were disturbed and at places, the yamunas were damaged.

The yamuna along the western bank of the Na-Pukhuri tank was damaged by such factors. This resulted in the inundation of the nearby paddy field areas in the historic Jerenga Pathar, when gushing water came out of the tank on October 11, sources said.

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Na-Pukhuri breach in Sivasagar to be plugged permanently

GUWAHATI, Oct 31 - The 240-year-old historic Na-Pukhuri, the 321-bigha tank dug during the reign of Swargadeo Lakshminath Singha (AD 1769-AD 1780) at Rudrasagar in Sivasagar district, is now gradually getting water accumulated within its edge. There occurred a breach on October 11, 2016, on the southwestern corner of the bank of this tank. This resulted in a massive loss of water from this huge tank. It posed a serious threat to the historical Shiva Doul located in the environs of the tank. The breach was temporarily plugged by the Archaeology Directorate on October 12, 2016.

This has brought a sigh of relief to the officials of the Archaeology Directorate here, as less water inside the edge of the tank means threat to the Shiva Doul built by Swargadeo Lakshminath Singha, just near the tank.

The Archaeology Directorate and the Sivasagar district administration have now decided to engage the Water Resources Department (WRD) to permanently plug the Na-Pukhuri breach.

The tank and the adjacent Shiva Temple were notified to be protected under the Assam Ancient Monuments and Records Act, 1959 and the State�s Archaeology Directorate was authorised to look after them. The entire area comprises 465 bighas of land.

According to Archaeology Directorate sources, the breach in the bank of the tank occurred around 3:30 pm of October 11, 2016. Earlier, this part of the bank was narrowed under the impact of some factors which were not natural.

On October 11, 2016, this part of the bank was breached under the impact of the pressure of the tank water. The water was full to the brim of the tank at that time. The breach thus caused was around seven-metre-long.

The southern and eastern banks of the tank are around 60 to 65 metres in width, while the length of these two banks is something between 800 metres and 900 metres.

There was an outlet on the southwestern corner of the southern bank of the tank. This seemed to be the cause behind the cracks that developed near the Shiva Doul campus in 2014. The outlet was releasing excessive amount of water from the tank. This dried up the tank.

For the Ahom era monuments, built by the side of the tanks, water plays a crucial role. It keeps the soft layer of clay laid under the structures wet. This layer of clay saves the structures behaving like sponge or cushion in the event of massive tremors like the ones that rocked the northeastern region in 1897 and 1950. This is the reason as to why there is no report of any such structure being damaged by such massive earthquakes, archaeologists here claim.

The State Archaeology Directorate with the help from the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) plugged that outlet in 2014, following the incident of cracks developing in the area close to the Shiva Doul.

There are, however, original outlets in these Ahom era tanks, which were connected with canals laid around the tanks. These canals are called yamunas. They take away the excess water from these tanks and thus save them from the pressure of the additional water, besides irrigating the nearby tilling fields and thus maintaining the ecological equilibrium.

But it was due to the anthropogenic pressure on land that such well-built systems were disturbed and at places, the yamunas were damaged.

The yamuna along the western bank of the Na-Pukhuri tank was damaged by such factors. This resulted in the inundation of the nearby paddy field areas in the historic Jerenga Pathar, when gushing water came out of the tank on October 11, sources said.