The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has acted prompt on a timely appeal made by Guwahati-based senior journalist, Sushanta Talukdar for use of the huge pool of knowledge of boatmen on dynamics and nature of Brahmaputra River that they had acquired while ferrying thousands of commuters across the mighty river over the years before Bogibeel Bridge was built.
Talukar informed, “It has come to my knowledge that the PMO has asked Assam government to utilise the expertise and knowledge of those boatmen in other activities involving the Brahmaputra and other rivers in the state. I feel glad that the PMO has taken note of my appeal regarding the potential of those boatmen with sea of knowledge on the mighty Brahmaputra River that has been deciding the fate, course of life and culture in Brahmaputra Valley areas of Assam.”
It has been learnt that the PMO has forwarded the appeal, made by Talukdar on the eve of inauguration of Bogibeel Bridge on December 25, to Anwaruddin Choudhury, state nodal officer and Commissioner and Secretary of Pension and Public Grievances Department of Assam.
Just before inauguration of Bogibeel Bridge, Talukdar had appealed to the public as well as the PMO, “The bridge is a necessity and that is why it has been built. However, the expertise of the boatmen who ferried thousands of commuters daily till the bridge became a reality, should be tapped as expert hands in water resources and disaster management –disasters caused by flood and erosion, rescue and relief operations, study of Brahmaputra – river ecology, river floe and sedimentation. They are mine of knowledge on all these subjects.”
The journalist also appealed to Assam state Water Resources Department, Union Ministry of Water Resources, National Disaster Management Authority, Assam Disaster Management Authority to explore creation of a knowledge pool of water resources and disaster management by employing these boatmen from Bogibeel and Kareng Chapori as well as those from Dhola- Sadiya ferry ghats and thereby using their services for the greater interest of the state that is perennially prone to flood and erosion.
Hundreds of boatmen have been rendered jobless after inauguration of Bogibeel Bridge over the Brahmaputra as well as Dr Bhupen Hazarika Setu (Dhola-Sadiya bridge) over Lohit River.