Bagaha, Oct. 17: Most rivers flowing through the district may soon become dry because of silt deposition on their beds.
The silt deposition has already resulted in an increase in the water-level of rivers such as Masan, Ram Rekha, Bhutahi and Kapan under Ram Nagar block. The water often destroys standing crops at villages under Khatauri, Gudgudi, Danmarwa, Bhawal, Mahui and Jogia panchayats every monsoon.
“Earlier, these rivers helped us in sustaining our lives. But not anymore because of silt deposition and encroachment,” said Sushil Kumar Chhapwalia, a resident of Ramnagar.
“Besides damaging the crops, the rivers have inundated cultivable land and rendered many farmers landless,” said Ram Pukar Mahto, another resident of Ramnagar.
Ram Rekha, which was once an important attraction of the entire Tharuhat and Done region along the India-Nepal border, too, has become unhygienic owing to pollution. The residents do not allow even cattle to drink from the river.
According to sources, the condition of other rivers are also more or less the same caused by regular deposit of silts, as most of these rivers originate from the hilly regions and flow to the plains carrying dust, rocks and sands.
The sources said despite heavy loss to crops every year, the government has remained unconcerned towards the situation or the inhabitants. There is no effort to save these rivers from becoming dry as well. Chhapwalia told The Telegraph: “The situation has, however, started changing under the present government. Owing to construction of some bridges in Tharuhat, some parts of Done have become accessible which remained cut off during the rains.”
“The number of pools and bridges are, however, insufficient. The hills and forests resemble Chamauli in Uttarakhand,” he said, adding that the state government should take measures to preserve the 16 or 18 varieties of aromatic rice for which Champaran was once famous.