MIRZA, May 27 � Erosion has once again taken a serious turn in Palasbari LAC in Kamrup district and some villages of Barkhetri LAC in Nalbari district.
It has been observed that hundreds of families are shifting their homes to safer places as their land is being eroded at an alarming rate and panic has set in among the affected people as a majority of them have no clue whatsoever as to where will they would after losing their precious land and property.
Over 50 families of Bardia village, 30 of Bhatkhowadia village, 15 of Pagladia village under Palasbari LAC in Kamrup district have lost their lost their land and property due to erosion by the Brahmaputra in the last three months and they have shifted to either some char villages or to an embankments located on the boundary of Barkhetri and Palasbari LACs.
�At present, erosion by Brahmaputra has taken a formidable turn in the north-western parts of Palasbari LAC in Kamrup district and the south western part of Barkhetri LAC in Nalbari district. Villages like No. 1 Kalapani, No. 2 Kalapani, Balagaon, Charaimari, Hengratari, Bardia (partly), Bhatkhowadia (partly) have already disappeared from the face of the earth in the last five-six years. Presently, some old char villages, which had earlier disappeared due to erosion, have once again come up due to change of course of the Brahmaputra river and deposition of sand layers. The erosion-affected families have now been shifting their homes to these newly surfaced char villages, like Hengratari, Balagaon, Charaimari, etc., under Palasbari LAC on their own cost, buts the authority concerned has not paid rehabilitation packages,� rued Mamud Ali, 60, a leading person of Bhatkhowadia char, who has now shifted his home to the newly-formed Hengratari village located in the middle of the Brahmaputra.
Nepalibasti under Barkhetri LAC, was one the oldest village of the char areas which was inhabited by 900 Nepali families about 20 years back. Nepali families then left the Nepalibasti and sold their land to other families belonging to the minority community. This (Nepalibasti ) char village is one of the richest such villages with alluvial land and densely wooded vegetation, including several huge arecanut gardens.
This correspondent saw a woman, Khodeja Khatun (65) of Nepalibasti collecting the remains of her recently-eroded house and weeping loudly. Her family members have been shifting her home to a relatively safer village.
�Assam Revenue Minister, Bhumidhar Barman is our local MLA but he did nothing to protect us. Several villages, including Naobajchar, Nepalibasti, etc., under Barkhetri LAC had already been eroded away completely and several other villages such as Laopara, Dairy Farm (Kurihamari) village are also getting eroded year after year, but not a single anti-erosion project has been implemented till date. We have nobody to look after. They come during elections seeking votes and forget us till the next election comes,� said Khodeja Khatun.
It may be mentioned here that about 18 sq km char areas of Palasbari LAC, 20 sq km char areas of Chhaygaon LAC, 10 sq km char areas in Hajo LAC in Kamrup district and 15 sq km char area of Barkhetri LAC in Nalbari district have already got eroded by the Brahmaputra in the past 15 years, rendering over 10,000 families landless and homeless, but not a single measure has been taken by the government in this regard.
�Every year, several layers of silt are deposited (due to flood) in the agricultural land in the char areas and, hence, char areas in Kamrup, Nalbari and Barpeta districts located on the banks of the Brahmaputra river are considered to be the most productive land, which produces nearly all types of crops provides agricultural produce for the people in the mainland areas. Besides, the State�s exchequer is benefiting from the agriculture produces from the char areas. But, the Government�s indifference towards protecting these fertile plots of land in the char areas is condemnable,� said Makadhaj Ali, a resident.
The public has demanded of the government to launch immediate anti-erosion measures to protect the char areas from eroding further.