The state of Assam faces a massive crisis as the rainy season approaches. Apart from seasonal floods, soil erosion is turning into a nightmare for the general public residing near river Brahmaputra or its tributaries. People whose lands are near the riverbanks are a worried lot.
For example, in Upper Assam, due to erosion, over 20 villages from Kordoiguri under the Doom Dooma revenue circle have vanished. People have become homeless and landless. Hundreds of bighas of agricultural land have also been lost due to soil erosion. There has been no help from the Water Resources Department and the affected people have lost faith in this government machinery. This story of erosion and government apathy is repeated in almost all the districts of the state.
Even chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal has been affected by soil erosion. Sonowal recently lost around 15 bighas of paternal land, thanks to river erosion.
The erosion has been creating havoc in the chief minister’s home area and places like Tengamari, Mirigaon, Rongmola, Laika, Dadhia are witnessing massive erosion. Hundreds of bighas of land have been taken away by the river. People have suddenly become landless overnight.
There are a total of 423 embankments in Assam. Most of these embankments are in a poor state. The worrisome part is, 295 embankments have crossed their life span. The state might be in grave danger this time around due to these ageing embankments. There is no guarantee of how long these embankments will hold.
The affected people have been urging the Sarbananda Sonowal government to take immediate steps. But it seems the Water Resources department looks clueless on what has to be done. Of the Rs. 1140.92 crore allocated under various heads the Water Resources Department could manage to spend just Rs. 412.57 crore.