LAKHIMPUR: Massive threat of devastating erosion caused by River Subansiri continues in Lakhimpur district. After eroding away an extensive area at Na-Ali under Telahi Development Block recently, the largest tributary of the mighty Brahmaputra has continued its devastation at Amguri under Madhya Telahi Gaon Panchayat under the same development block. Assuming demonic proportion, the perennial erosion of the river has gobbled up a large stretch of the river bank and caused an alarming threat to the Bhimpora embankment.
Erosion caused by the river completely destroyed three villages of that area - Ghancharai, Jugalpur and Chandrapur - in 1991 and 1992. Around 300 families living in those villages became homeless and were compelled to take shelter at the Bhimpora embankment. Most of those homeless families are still living on the embankment while some of them shifted to various places of the district, including Dhemaji. Despite consecutive prayers and petitions, as well as various protest programmes, neither the district administration nor the successive State Governments have initiated any steps to rehabilitate the homeless families, as a result of which they are passing their days in a pitiable and miserable condition.
Since 1991, the river has continued its erosion in the area, destroying the crop lands and residential areas. It has already eroded away another village named No. 2 Somdirimukh this year. The river is now proceeding towards the Bhimpora embankment due to non-implementation of any erosion prevention measures since 1991. At present, the difference between the river and embankment is nearly 500-600 metres. If the devastation continues in this proportion, the river will collapse the embankment very soon and wreak massive havoc to around 40 revenue villages under four Gaon Panchayats under Telahi Development Block - Madhya Telahi, Panigaon, Uttar Telahi and Lohit Khabalu.
Under such circumstances, the people of Amguri, including the homeless people of Ghancharai, Jugalpur and Chandrapur, led by Arunoday Yuva Sangha, were compelled to launch erosion-prevention measures in the affected area on Saturday on their own. In order to check the ongoing erosion, they attempted to install bamboo spars with the help of monetary and material contribution of the local public.
The local people have demanded the Water Resources Department and the State Government to implement permanent, scientific erosion-prevention measures very soon. "Unless the district administration or the State Government takes any immediate measures, the ongoing erosion will once again cause tremendous negative impact in the area in the near future. So, we call upon the State Government to initiate timely steps to protect the lives and properties of the people of the area," said Gopal Hazarika, president of Bishwa Bharati Library of Amguri, who is an assistant inspector in the Lakhimpur District Agriculture Office.
In this regard, the local people demanded Lakhimpur MLA Utpal Dutta and MP Pradan Baruah to take concrete steps to mitigate the problem.