LAKHIMPUR: Over a thousand people living in Pachim Dhemaji of Dhemaji district initiated strong protest programme on Thursday demanding permanent solution to the devastating flood problem caused by River Jiadhol. In support of the demand, the flood-affected people of the Jiadhol riverine area blocked the NH-15 and rent the air with multiple slogans.
Notably, the ravaging flood caused by River Jiadhol, which is regarded as the 'Sorrow of Dhemaji', breached its embankment, stretching from Tekjuri Barman Gaon to Kumatiya Railway Bridge, at Dihiri Chapori in 2007. In that year, the flash flood ravaged two villages named Kekuri Chapori and Dihiri Chapori. Since then the embankment has remained unplugged and the river began to flow through the breached portion of the embankment changing its original course. As a consequence of the unplugged embankment, the flood caused by the river has severely hit a larger area under Pachim Dhemaji covering Jiadhol, Chamarajan, Naruwa Than, Ghuguha, Batghoriya, Butikor, Jiadhol Chariali and many other villages every year. Moreover, the flood has eroded away an extensive stretch of the embankment and the residential houses of a number of families living in various villages in the area in the past years.
Despite such circumstances, the Dhemaji Water Resources Division has constructed the embankment at Pehiyoti under the downstream of the river instead of constructing the same at the breached portions from Tekjuri Barman Gaon to Kumatiya Railway Bridge. The flood-affected people expressed strong reaction over such a move on the part of the Dhemaji Water Resources Division.
On Thursday, demanding immediate construction of the embankment, the flood-affected people blocked the NH-15 under the banner of Jiadhol Nadi Ban Pratirodhi Aikya Manch, led by its chief convener Mangala Doley, conveners Harish Pegu and Gandheswar Borah. By staging the three-hour long protest programme, the organization submitted separate memoranda to the Chief Minister, Water Resources Minister, Panchayat and Rural Development Minister and MP of Lakhimpur to initiate steps for the same at earliest.
In the memorandum, the organization demanded to change the flow of the river to its original course by cutting canal from Tekjuri Barman Gaon to Kumatiya, to repair the deplorable roads in the area which were devastated by flood, to compensate the flood and erosion-affected people and to exempt them from land revenue, to ensure employment for the people who became unemployed after being affected by consecutive waves of flood, by implementing welfare schemes. On the other hand, the protesters fixed a deadline of 20 days for the district administration and the State Government to initiate move to start the construction work of the embankment from Tekjuri Barman Gaon to Kumatiya Railway Bridge.