GUWAHATI: The bank protection work of the Majuli Island will be completed in December, said an official of the Brahmaputra Board. The Rs 207-crore project under the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) was supposed to be completed in March 2020. But due to the anti-CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) protests, lockdown, and the rainy season, the constructed work was halted and will be completed by December 2020.
The name of the project is "Protection of Majuli Island from flood and erosion of the Brahmaputra river." The DONER Ministry introduced the project under the Non-Lapsable Central Pool of Resources (NLCPR) scheme.
Talking to The Sentinel, the Brahmaputra Board official said that almost 90 per cent work of the project has been completed. "The construction was halted during the anti-CAA protests and the lockdown. We resumed the works on April 26 after taking permission from the Majuli administration. It will not be possible to complete the rest of the 10 per cent work during the rainy season. Thus, we have already submitted a letter to the DoNER Ministry to extend the project deadline till December," said the official.
The official said the project includes bank revetment with geo bags filled with soil/sand for a length of 28 km in 11 locations. "In the 28 km stretch in 11 locations, the work for apron (construction under water) has been completed for a distance of 21.94 km. Achievement in slope pitching (construction above water) is 20.39 km as on May 25. Meanwhile, the RCC porcupine works have been completed in 41 locations," said the official.
The 11 locations where the bank revetment has been done are – Tekeliphuta, Saimara to Bessamara, Aphalamukh to Dakhinpat, Sumoimari, Kamalabari to Bamungaon, Bamungaon to Gorukhuti, Bhakatchapori to Podumoni, Podumoni to Pakhimuri, Kordoiguri, Karatipar, Chamaguri and Missamara. The official said that the total work amounting Rs 160 crore (Rs 189.69 crore including GST) was allotted through tendering in November 2017. The tender was given to TK Engineering and Consortium Pvt Ltd from Naharlagun, Arunachal Pradesh. The construction work started at the site on February 2018. The Brahmaputra Board is engaged in various projects from 2004 to 2016 to stop floods from eroding the Majuli island. The Brahmaputra Board took the current project under the DoNER Minister in 2017. The Board has constituted a technical advisory committee to overview the progress of the project in the island. Bank erosion has always been a problem with Majuli. Given its size and location, the island is a biodiversity hotspot and has a distinct cultural heritage in the State. The mighty Brahmaputra continues to disfigure the island and the tag of the "largest river island in the world" may soon be removed.