By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, January 30: The Assam Government, as often as not, reminds the Centre of taking up the issue of Chi diverting the Brahmaputra at its source with the neighbouring country. Dispur, however, looks the other way when such illegal activities occur under its very nose.
Take the plight of Sandhya, Kanta and Lalita in Guwahati as a case study. These three streams – the confluence of which makes the rivulet Bahini that flows by the side of the Bashistha Mandir – are tormented by a racket of stone crushers every now and then, illegally, in the upstream – at the source of the Bahini. So much so that Sandhya, Kanta and Lalita stopped flowing, so did the Bahini.
Krishak Shramik Unyan Sangram Samittee Assam (KSUSSA) president Dharanidhar Deka and general secretary Indrajit Sarma said: “The source of Bahini is the confluence of three streams – Sandhya, Kanta and Lalita – in the upstream. The Bahini used to flow throughout the year as the three streams used to feed the rivulet with water, day in, day out. However, things have changed for the worse. A racket of unscrupulous stone crushers continues to cause blasting of explosives to crack stones in the area so as to supply them for construction purposes. All these activities are going on right under the nose of the forest and police administrations in Guwahati. The streams have been blocked, and that has led the Bahini go dry. There are roads for plying of trucks and people over the three streams.”
Deka and Sarma further said: “The situation is fraught with the risk of flash floods in the rainy season when water continues to keep flowing from the Meghalaya side. The three blocked streams may be in spate after the onset of the monsoons and breach the roads built on them. That may cause a disaster, leading to loss of life and property. The safety of hundreds of families residing on either side of the Bahini river is at stake.”
“This’s not all. The forest cover in the area is fraying fast. Some people engaged in the illegal stone crushing in the area are Aravinda Rohang, Madan Mahanta, Ramen Choudhury, Munin Bora, Dharani Kalit and Tapas Saikia,” they said.
The Samittee today submitted a memorandum to the Chief Secretary to the Chief Minister of the state and the Kamrup (Metro) Deputy Commissioner, and appealed them to save Sandhya, Kanta and Lalita from the wrath of the racket. It also appealed to the government to clean the area surrounding the temple and conduct eviction drives to clear the river banks of illegal settlers.