Kolong is a boon
The recent unprecedented flood havoc following the breach of the embankment on the mouth of Kolong river at Arikatimukh near Jakhalabandha will be permanently etched in the minds of people of Kaliabor. Who are responsible for the sudden breach will come to light after investigation by the authority concerned. Now the question is whether Kolong, now opened, will be kept open forever or will its opening be closed again.
Earlier, when Kolong was flowing, there was flood every year but there was no such havoc due to the tural incidence. Flood, however, is beneficial to the agriculture-dependent people of the region. Thus, Kolong was a boon, not a bane, for the people of Kaliabor.
When the unplanned and low-lying gaon town was submerged by floodwaters of Kolong river, then the necessity arose to block the mouth of the river from flowing. But it was done very unscientifically without looking into its future consequences. That was a massive blunder.
A river is a cradle of a civilization or a culture. The closure of the river led to environmental changes in Kaliabor. Agricultural productivity decreased in the area and different new diseases troubled the people of Kaliabor. Kolong is the lifeline of Kaliabor and everyone must have been aware of it.
This time when Kolong again started flowing, it seemed that the whole of Kaliabor again throbbed with life.
Undoubtedly, damages done by this recent flood is enormous and irreparable to some extent. Now the opinion among all the sensible people is that if Kolong is kept opened, it will be better for all-round development of Kaliabor as well as gaon district.
The fear of submergence of gaon town by Kolong river has been proved wrong by the recent flood. Damages cause by flood can be minimised if the river is cleared of water hyacinths and other weeds, as well as illegal occupation and construction on the river bed. After proper survey and study, the authority concerned should construct requisite pools and bridges wherever necessary, so that floodwater can pass easily without causing any damages to agriculture and to people.
So we urge the authority concerned to keep the Kolong river open for greater interest of the people of Kaliabor. Our local MLA and Minister for Water Resources of the State government needs to take the initiative and right decision in this regard. People irrespective of area, organization, political party and interest, should support this move. Otherwise people of Kaliabor for generations to come will blame us for committing the same mistake again.
Dr Nripen Chandra Das,
Department of History,