Once the largest river island in the world, Majuli has lost one-third of its landmass due to severe erosion by the Brahmaputra
Usha Dewani (indiawaterportal.org) | May 27, 2016
The Brahmaputra is the highest siltation-carrying river in the world, and controlling erosion caused by it is not easy. Because of its characteristics, it does not have a parallel with any other river in the world. Mythologically also, the Brahmaputra has always been a disturbed river, highly meandering, says Gunajeet Kashyap (ACS), election officer, Majuli. While many also regard the river as nature’s playground with shifting courses and meandering channels defining its very character, most would agree that the river in full spate is fierce, to say the least. Majuli is a large island on the Brahmaputra in Assam. Once ranked as the largest river island in the world, Majuli today has lost this position owing to severe erosion by the river. Originally 1,265 sq km, today the island has lost about a third of its landmass and only about 525 sq km of land remains stable. The island is culturally and spiritually significant and has been proposed as a World Heritage site. While the government has been trying to control erosion through different structural measures and crores of money, much of it is temporary and people continue living in limbo as huge chunks of earth continue to fall into the river.
The island has gained about 24.67 sq km of land due to anti-erosion interventions carried out by the Brahmaputra Board. A whopping '275 crore has been spent on these measures in 10 years.
Boat-making is also an important occupation in this part of the island.
A boatman looks at the vast and furious Brahmaputra.
The Brahmaputra Board has constructed four boulder spurs at Salmora area to contain the erosion. Locals resent the move, as a portion of the spur itself has eroded, let alone protecting the area.
“I can’t sleep when the river keeps howling. You never know when the water will creep in. It is unimaginably scary,” says a potter at Salmora.
Women of Khorhola village informed that the ‘Chang’ (temporary raised bamboo platform built during floods) used to be built at a height of about 1.5 feet about 10-15 years back. Now it is built about three feet tall to keep people safe from the surging waters.
“We tie our children to our chests and move towards the embankment. Such times when the water comes gnawing at you are difficult to imagine. No toilets, and water everywhere. Where will you relieve yourself?” complains Patoli Das of Khorhola village, Majuli.
This photo essay by Usha Dewani was first published on India Water Portal (www.indiawaterportal.org)
Rohingya people who have entered India are not refugees but illegal immigrants, home minister Rajnath Singh has said, as they have not followed the due procedure to acquire a refugee status. “By deporting Rohingyas from India, we are not violating any international law. India is not a
Lucknow, September 15 The Uttar Pradesh Police releases official data on crime control under the new dispensation of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Reveals that in 180 days of the new government, 420 encounters have taken place leading to the elimination of 15 supposedl
Since the dawn of this century, owing to their growing interdependence, India’s ties with the African states have gradually been acquiring significance in a rapidly globalising world. Such interdependence is manifesting itself quite clearly in economic, developmental and politico-strategic spheres of
Over the last decade, Chennai has been witnessing an unprecedented increase in urban population and a large expansion of industrial areas in its suburban regions. This expansion has largely been unorganised and haphazard. In order to regulate growth and make it uniform, the Tamil Nadu government has decide
The telecom regulator has opted for Bill and Keep, BAK, model for interconnection usage charges, that one operator pays to the other for call termination. At one stroke, the telecom regulatory authority of India (TRAI) regulation on interconnection has facilitated savings of Rs 5,000 crore to Reliance Jio
There is going to be a huge lack of new antibiotics in coming future. A report by the World Health Organisation (WHO) has revealed that there is “a serious lack of new antibiotics under development to combat the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance.” The report called Antib