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Pottery artisans of Majuli hit by erosion


JORHAT, June 10 - Several potter families and boat-makers of Salmora area in river island Majuli within Jorhat district have been severely affected by unabated flood-induced erosion of the Brahmaputra in recent times.

Vagaries of weather too have compelled them to shift their huts and meagre belongings from the riverside at Borboka to comparatively safer places in nearby localities.

Locals informed that Nakul Hazarika, Mohon Bora, Nila Chamua, Halidhor Chamua, Amulya Bharali, Kanai Hazarika, Gangadhar Hazarika and three other boat-makers had to shift their huts and household belongings to relatively safer places before the swirling flood waters of the mighty Red River could wash them away.

All of them are said to be engaged in the making of traditional pottery, besides boat-making industry at Salmora.

In another incident of devastating storm-induced damage, more than 200 houses, including the Circuit House, jail at Garamur and Dakhin Ahatguri areas of the river island were badly affected.

On being asked whether the local administration made adequate survey of the affected areas, an officer of the Majuli sub-divisional administration replied that they had prepared a list of families who were hit by the recent river bank erosion and vagaries of weather.

�We found 200 households affected in greater Garamur area by the devastating storm. Several buildings of institutions were also damaged. We are still preparing a list of erosion-hit families of the river island for the Government�s consideration for adequate compensation,� said the administrative officer.

As some BJP workers of Majuli informed the local MLA and Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal about the collective plight of the erosion-hit population, Sonowal deputed a team of party delegates to Salmora for preparing a report in order to compensate the affected families.

�The team has since left Majuli and reportedly submitted a report to local MLA Sonowal, who also happens to be the Chief Minister. Families of the pottery artisans and boat-making industry were severely affected by the recent land erosion at Salmora,�said Dhenuram Kalita, a sensitive citizen of the area.

He informed that major flood protection work at No. 1 spur of the locality was eroded by strong currents of the Brahmaputra a few days ago, which has thereby posed a threat to the entire area.

�Importantly, this year the Brahmaputra Board did not undertake any significant work there. If the damage at No. 1 spur at Salmora is not repaired soon, the entire protection works may suffer in the near future,� opined a concerned Kalita.

Expecting the new dispensation at Dispur to take a learned decision and compensate their loss of land and property at an early date, the affected families at the �Treasure Island� are very much hopeful that official help in the form of fiscal aid or assistance in kind would go a long way in ameliorating their plight in the face of the oncoming monsoon season, when it becomes a struggle to keep body and soul together.

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