By- Avik Kumar Chakraborty
Flood and erosion is a curse for the people of Assam and every year due to massive flood and erosion, thousands of people become homeless and fight for their existence. Every year the people of Assam have to struggle against the marauding erosion which takes away their entire livelihood. Last year, before the Assembly polls in Assam, the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) assured the people that if they would come to power in Assam they would take the matter seriously and try to solve the decade old problem. Recently, the investment clearance committee of Ministry of Water Resources had released the pending fund of ` 78.48 crore for the 6.4 km stretch on the Brahmaputra river bank from Gorpora to Bogoritolia in Rohmoria.
The people of Rohmoria were very happy after the fund has been released which has been pending for last three years. Rohmoria, located some 36 kms from Dibrugarh have faced lots of hardship due to erosion in last several years. Now, everybody is hopeful and eyeing towards the geo-bags technology which was used to stop erosion. Due to massive erosion in the last 10 years many families were rehabilitated to other place. Rohmorai having 20,000 population under Lahowal constituency plays a crucial role during election. In 2016, election for the first time BJP candidate Rituparna Barua won from the constituency and he committed to work for the benefit of the people.
Former Prime Minister visited Rohmorai on January 17, 2006 and promised the people that Rohmorai would be saved at any cost. After that Rohmorai become a national issue and the then government tried everything for the allotment of maximum fund for the protection of Rohmorai.
In 1990, erosion started in Rohmoria and caused major devastation which have forced the people to settle in other places of Assam. Every year huge chunks of land gets eroded into the river Brahamaputra. Till now 38 revenue villages, tea gardens, primary schools, one sericulture firm have been washed away into the river. In 2006 the Garapora Xatra was gobbled up by the river.
In 2015, the government sanctioned ` 78.48 crore under the Integrated Flood and River Bank Erosion Management for laying geo-bags on the 6.4-km stretch from Gorpora to Bogoritolia.
“For the last three years we have witnessed how constant erosion has gobbled up our land. Now, I am very happy that the pending fund has been released and the remaining work of geo-bags will start soon” says Bhobo Kanta Phukan, Retired primary teacher of Rohmoria. He further added that after the heavy protest by the people of Rohmoria in 2011, the government had sanctioned ` 60 crore for laying geo-bags in the 2.6 km stretch from Gorpora to Kasuani for controlling erosion which had stopped the erosion in the area.
Binod Kedia, the chief adviser of Flood Erosion Resistance Struggle Forum told The Northeast Window that investment clearance comittee of Ministry of Water and Resource have recently released the pending ` 78.48 crore and very soon the fund would be used for laying the geo-bags in the remaining area.
“We have been putting pressure to the government for the last three years to released the amount for the greater interest of the people and last year Union minister of state for water resources Sanjiv Kumar Balyan visited Rohmoria and our organisation submitted a memorandum to him seeking his help to release the fund,” Kedia says
Gopal Saikia, a resident of Rohmoria says , “Erosion is a curse for the people of Rohmoria which had caused devastation in the lives of the people. But, now I think that erosion will be stopped.”
* (A follow on “A Serious Threat to Rohmoria”, Sept, 2016)