Villagers from Lakhimpur’s Dhalpur-Jamuguri area have now turned to the Gods in the hope of finding respite from the rampant problem of soil erosion after the BJP led state government has failed to find a permanent solution to it.
These villages have been holding a week-long recitation of the holy Srimmadbhagawat (Bhagavat Gita) in a desperate bid to protect themselves and their land from the imminent danger of erosion by the mighty Brahmaputra.
The villagers of Bonpuroi, Lotabari, Dahgharia, Chenimari, Bottomchuk, Chengelisuti and Misamari have been religiously sitting for the Paath (recitation) of the sacred text on the banks of the Brahmaputra near the ferryghat at Jamuguri since April 1.
An organizer of the event said that they have tried all means to prevent erosion but , without much success.
“All our requests, demands and urges have been exhausted and now we have no other option left than to turn to God for protection,” said the organizer.
Villagers from neighbouring Biswanath district, who have also faced the wrath of the Brahmaputra, have joined in the prayers.
The Jamuguri-Bonpuroi riverine area under Narayanpur revenue circle in Lakhimpur district had witnessed a severe flood and erosion last year, during which a major portion of the embankment was washed away.
Massive erosion by the Brahmaputra in No. 3 check bund in Bonpuroi-Latabari village in Jamuguri was caused despite placing of rock-spars by the Bihpuria sub-divisional water resources department.
The department had placed six rock-spars in a bid to contain the bank erosion, but the initiative proved futile.
The No. 2 and No. 3 Check Bunds on the right hand side of the river were severely damaged during the flood at that time, followed by massive erosions in November last year and in March this year.
Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal visited the area and announced that erosion had been categorized as a natural calamity in the 15th Finance Commission and that works would soon begin.
Sonowal also spoke about the formation of the North East Water Management Authority with the deputy chairman of NITI Ayog as its president to prepare a project report on the flood-erosion problem of the region.
This was followed by a visit to the affected site of Bonpuroi-Lotabari by an inter-ministerial central team, comprising Sudhir Kumar, director of the Monitoring and Appraisal Directorate of the Central Water Commission under the ministry of Jal Shakti and Abhisek Agarwal, assistant executive engineer of the ministry of road and transport.
While laying the foundation stone of an Rs. 2.51 crores multi-purpose flood protection facility in Dhunaguri under the Bihpuria revenue circle in October last year, Sonowal had announced the initiation of a Rs 10.5 crores project for the erosion protection work at Jamugur.
However, no such work has begun yet.