SIVASAGAR, Oct 17 - The historic Rudra Sagar Borpukhuri (Napukhuri), a huge 100 pura (600 m x 700 m) manmade tank, built by Ahom Swargadeo Lakshmi Singha in 1773 was in the news recently as a breach in the southern bank on October 11, triggered a rapid outflow of tank water to the nearby fields submerging a vast area of Joysagar and Magarahat in Zerengapathar.
The breach occurred at the place where there was the original �nalamukh�(hole to let out the excess water during the rainy season) as constructed by the Ahom engineers of yore at the time of excavation of the tank three centuries back. But the district administration allegedly allowed filling the passage for facilitating movement of ONGC�s heavy vehicles over the bank to its goods depot on the eastern bank in 2014, when the State Archaeology Department sealed the northern bank for the safety of the historic Shiv doul constructed by Swargadeo Gaurinath Singha (1780-1794). While making provisions for movement of heavy vehicles, the small culvert planted there to siphon off the excess water had to be sealed. As heavy rainfall continued throughout September, the water level rose and the full-to-the-brim huge water body was left without any outlet to ease off the water pressure on the old earthen banks. It was but natural that the mounting water pressure would find the weakest point to break through and the crater that appeared in the point about a month back provided exactly that.
�There is no human mischief involved,� Dipankar Das, secretary, Sadou Asom Koibarta Yuva Chatra Santha, told ANN Service this morning. The Sivasagar district administration with the assistance of an ONGC technical team acted on a war footing and sealed the wide gap created by the torrential outflow. The All Tai Ahom Students� Union, Asom Sangrami Mancha, Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva Chatra Parishad, Brihattar Asomiya Yuva Parishad and several organisations extended all possible help to the administration in sealing the huge 30-feet crater.
Though a section of the media reported that the breach was made by unscrupulous men for catching fish at the historic tank, this has been strongly refuted by the local communities. The Koibarta Students and Youth body while condemning such baseless reporting through a release, said that it has been done to blame a particular community. The Sivasagar Deputy Commissioner Narayan Konwar however, ordered an investigation into the matter, the report of which is still awaited.
The reason that the matter has caused so much concern for the Sivasagar public is that the 74th Asam Sahitya Sabha session in its centenary year of foundation is to be held at Zerengapathar, adjacent to the Napukhuri. The submergence of the fields has dampened the spirit of the reception committee.