DIBRUGARH: 48-years old Kalpana Saikia, lost 25 bighas of land in erosion by the river Brahmaputra and was frustrated with the government’s policy of rehabilitation.

Saikia has been living in the Raidang area under Balijan Gaon Panchayat in the Chabua revenue circle in Dibrugarh and has lost her 25 bighas. 

She is now living in the Pukhurijan area on PWD land. 

Kalpana said, “Around 150 families were displaced due to the erosion but to date, no rehabilitation remedies were given to them. The families who have lost everything in erosion have been waiting for rehabilitation,”.

“Due to massive erosion from river Brahmaputra river, we have lost our land. We have lost everything due to the marauding erosion. We want a permanent solution to solve the erosion which was a ‘curse’ for the people of this area. Before erosion, we are living happily and the river Brahmaputra was far away from us but gradually it come to closure and took everything from us. If the erosion will continue then Chabua will be wiped out from Assam’s map”, Saikia said.

Saikia further added, “Due to the erosion, 150 families have become homeless. The erosion has brought miseries in the life of the people. Everybody has lost huge hectares of cropland in erosion.”

Like Kalpana Saikia, Hemsingh Suraj, 57, lost 19 bighas of land in erosion. 

“I’ve lost my 19 bighas of land in Rongmola village, which was gobbled by the river Brahmaputra. The village is now no longer exists. Earlier, everything was good but erosion has changed our lives”, he said.

“From 1988, the erosion started in our area and the ‘hungry river’ ate our land in a very short span of time. When the Siang river mixed with the Brahmaputra river, the erosion started in our area because the Siang river has been flowing from the upper area of Arunachal Pradesh,” Hemsingh Suraj told to this correspondent.

“Despite several pleas, the government have taken some anti-erosion measures in the area but those protection measures will not be enough to stop the erosion. The Water Resource Department has used mega bags technology to stop erosion but it would not be enough to stop erosion. We want a permanent solution to stop the erosion. If the government divert the Siang river then the erosion will be stopped,” Suraj said.

Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal’s paternal house is just 3 km from the erosion site. The erosion is also posing a serious threat to the paternal house of Sarbananda Sonowal.

“The Dinjan Army camp which is a few km away from the river Brahmaputra is also posing a serious threat of being wiped out. If the erosion will continue for more years then the whole area along with Chabua will be gobbled up by river Brahmaputra,” said Bapi Das, a resident of Pukherijan.

Avik Chakraborty

Avik Chakraborty is Northeast Now Correspondent in Dibrugarh. He can be reached at: babs8oct@gmail.com