DIBRUGARH, February 3: Thanks to the Indian army's instrasigence, the spectre of massive erosion by the Brahmaputra and inundation threatens Dibrugarh town yet again this year.
A project to construct a dyke along the Brahmaputra to protect Dibrugarh town has met with objections from the Indian army which claims a portion of the land falls under its cantonment.
The army's refusal to permit construction of the dyke along a 1 kilometer long stretch has invited the ire of the Flood Erosion Resistance Struggle Forum Dibrugarh and Tinsukia District of Assam (FERSFDTDA).
In a letter to Prime Minister rendra Modi, the organization has sought his intervention, as work on the dyke cannot proceed otherwise.
The advisor of FERSFDTDA, Vinode Kedia, claimed that construction of the nine kilometer long dyke from Rohmoria to Mohoghat was progressing satisfactorily, but the Indian army's objection brought the work to a halt.
According to him, the project was initiated to protect Dibrugarh town, the second biggest town of the State, from flood and erosion of the Brahmaputra. The construction work started as per schedule and was advancing well ahead of the ensuing rainy season, but it has come to standstill at the stretch near Paltan Bazar where the army has a camp.
The district administration has held several rounds of talks with the army personnel here, but these have not yielded any fruitful result, Kedia claimed.
Finding no other option, FERSFDTDA has called upon the Prime Minister to use his office to get the necessary clearance, so that the dyke can be completed within the stipulated period to protect Dibrugarh town and its people during the rainy season from flood and erosion.
Copies of the letter have also been sent to the Defence Minister, Water Resources Minister, Chief Minister of Assam and the Deputy Commissioner.
Dibrugarh Deputy Commissioner MS Manivann said the administration will be holding a meeting with the army commander here to try and sort out the issue "amicably".
Over the years, raging floodwaters of the Brahmaputra during the rains have triggered rapid and unrelenting erosion upon the entire bank near Dibrugarh town. This has posed a severe threat to several areas in Dibrugarh, including the town. Rohmoria and Mohaghat are the worst hit, with surging waters swallowing large tracts of land. If the dyke project to protect the bank is not completed in time before the rains start this year, the threat of inundation will loom large over Dibrugarh town.