BARPETA: The Governor of Assam, Prof. Jagdish Mukhi expressed deep concern over the massive erosion of Beki and Bramhaputra rivers in Barpeta district and said that there was urgent need to check it. The Governor stated that large areas of fertile land and habitats had been lost due to the long-standing problem of erosion.
Addressing mediapersons at Bansbari Tourist Lodge at Manas National Park-cum-Tiger Project, Prof Mukhi lamented that though flood had been recognized as natural calamity since long, there was immense provision to compensate the loss due to flood. He said that the State Government had been pursuing the issue of erosion with the Central Government since the present government assumed office and the efforts had begun to bear fruit. The Finance Commission has of late recognized the perennial problem of river erosion in the State as a natural calamity and once the modalities are prepared, payment of compensation due to the loss created by erosion will begin, he said.
About the continuous erosion by Beki in parts of Barpeta and Baksa districts, Governor Mukhi said that a scheme worth Rs 204 crore had been prepared to check the erosion of Beki in Safakamar area which was forwarded to the Central Water Commission and administrative approval was awaited. He said that he would personally take up the matter with the Union Water Resource Minister and the purpose of his visit was that he wanted to acquire first-hand knowledge of the ongoing devastation.
"My purpose is to acquaint myself with the situation. Hence I have seen it from the catchment area of Beki so that I can apprise and convince the Central Government for a permanent solution to the serious issue," Governor Mukhi said and added that he was hopeful of a solution.
The Governor visited some erosion-hit areas of Barpeta and Baksa districts on Thursday. Arriving on a day-long visit to these two districts, he first visited Safakamar where the erosion of Beki has taken a serious turn for the last few years. Apart from eroding a number of residences erosion in this area, the river has disrupted road communication between Batpeta Road and World Heritage Site Manas National Park-cum-Tiger Project.
The Governor later went to Khagrabari Bispani area where the Beki has eroded hundreds of hectares of fertile land during the last few years. Quoting local people, the Governor informed that 15 to 20 metres of land had been eroded during the last 20 hours in Safakamar area. As regards to large-scale deforestation in some parts of the State, the Governor said that steps had been initiated to plant 40 lakh saplings in those areas.