50-year-old Dipak Gohain, a farmer in Meleki village under Subansiri Revenue Circle in Lakhimpur district has been growing rice and mustard for twenty years in his land on the bank of river Champora and Kesukhonda.
Though he has seen many floods and inundations over the years affecting his agriculture work, the flood by Jiyadhal river in late August this year was unprecedented.
The flash flood in the river, which caused devastation in neighbouring Dhemaji district on August 21 submerged Gohain’s entire cropland for weeks and left a thick layer of sand and silt. He is now unable to grow any kind of crops on the sand filled land for many years.
“This time my entire land with standing paddy is gone, buried by sand and my house is also submerged, how can we sustain ourselves as there is no option for the winter cropping?”, laments Gohain.
Arun Dihingiya, 46, another farmer from the nearby Sinai-Deeghali village has the same story of misery caused by the flash flood. He took this correspondent in a small boat on a water-body which was his paddy field until recently till the Jiyadhal flash flood.
From the boat, he shows a vast sandy area, still underwater where he was supposed to grow mustard after the paddy cycle.
“Now we can’t grow anything for a minimum of seven years for the sand deposited on the field,” says Dihingiya.
Both these two farmers and others of nine villages like Gohaingaon, Chawkham, Raidongiya, Ghahingaon etc. under Subansiri Revenue Circle in Ghilamora Rural Development Block in Lakhimpur district are blaming the lack of inter-district coordination in flood management work for the devastation of their croplands of about twenty hectares.
Flood protection work on Jiyadhal river inside Dhemaji district and its discontinuation from the Lakhimpur district side has caused the destruction of cropland, as told by these villagers.
“The guide bund of Kumatiya River has not been extended to our area by the Dhemaji district authority as it falls to Lakhimpur district for which the Jiadhal flood entered our village,” complains Dipak Gohain.
The Jiyadhal river enters Lakhimpur district as Kumotiya and joined by other streams like Kesukhonda and becomes Champora before joining Subansiri river towards the southwest.
The bank protection work on the Jiyadhal-Kumatiya river by Dhemaji district Water Resource Department ends in Gurarthali.
The channel cutting work of Jiyadhal-Kumatiya river to Champora river by Ghilamora Rural Development Block of Lakhimpur district is blamed for the recent devastation of these villages by Jiyadhal flash flood.
The villagers say that the Lakhimpur DRDA should have constructed a bank protection work from Gurarthali to Champora bridge on the right-hand side of the river to continue the bund constructed by the Dhemaji WR department.