FROM A CORRESPONDENT
LAKHIMPUR, March 24: In the long run, though the construction work of several unplugged and uncompleted embankments in Lakhimpur began after the people and various social organizations had initiated protest programmes demanding the same, it is alleged that the embankments have been constructed defectively, defying the longevity of the embankments and the greater interest of the local people. It is also alleged that the District Office of the Water Resource Department has allowed the contractors to work as they wished without engaging any officers or employees in order to supervise the embankment construction works.
These allegations turned out to be true with the construction work of the left embankment of river Rangadi in Bogolijan area. A contractor med Gauri Sankar has allegedly constructed the embankment with the soil mixed with roots of reed like marsh plants and other garbage. This portion of the said embankment near the unplugged point at Bogolijan was left unfinished by a contractor med Kandarpa Pegu last year. This year, a company med Samco got the work order as the contractor for the completion of the embankment construction work. But Samco, without working itself, allotted sub-contract to Gauri Sankar who has built the embankment with the soil mixed with the tree roots and rubbish. On seeing this, the local people reported the matter to the Superintending Engineer of the district Water Resource Department and other officials. It is feared that the dried roots and the other garbage mixed with the soil will decompose very soon and it will turn out to be the habitat of white ant. The insect will harm the density and durability of the embankment causing holes and hollow spaces in the interior. There is strong possibility of river water oozing through the holes and the phenomenon will certainly collapse the embankment in the monsoon again.
In the wake of the complaint, the sub-contractor removed the waste materials from the surface of the embankment engaging labourers, but most of the same still remains within. Monjeet Borkakati, the Circle Officer of North Lakhimpur Revenue Circle on Friday visited the site, as per the instruction of the DC, in order to make an enquiry into the complaint. He witnessed the presence of the waste matters in the layer of the embankment on digging in order to ascertain the truth of the complaint. Further, he informed this correspondent that the geo-tubes laid in order to plug the breech portion of the embankment at Bogolijan was also found “not compact”. In this regard, the people of the area demanded the Water Resource Minister, the department concerned and Lakhimpur DC to initiate stern action against the contractors and the sub contractors who are executing the construction work of the embankment for their materialistic benefits, defying the public interest.