| The floating bridge over the Tuni river. Picture by Mitu Khataniar |
Jorhat, June 6: Three schools in eastern Majuli were shut down today and the North Lakhimpur-Kamalabari road breached because of flooding of vast swathes of land in the river island.
M. Khatoniar, a resident of Bengenaati Xatra, said the Kamalabari-North Lakhimpur road had been breached with the washing away of a bamboo bridge over the Subansiri river yesterday.
“Schoolchildren and commuters are somehow crossing the river on boats risking their lives,” he said.
Three schools, Patia Gaon Primary School, Upar Sonowal Primary School and Rama Kanta High School were shut down because of floods.
About 30 villages have been inundated on the eastern side of Majuli and vast swathes of agricultural land have gone under water because of flooding.
The villages most affected are Salmora, Dakhinpat, Kaniajan, Sumoimari, Dukonamukh, Kamalabarighat, Kaivartagaon, Bengenuati and Pabhokhowa.
On the other hand, in an attempt to do away with annual repair and reconstruction of a bamboo bridge over the Tuni river, the Deori Autonomous Council administration has built a floating bridge over the river. The bridge, which connects Teliabari to Bongalkota, is made of fuel drums.
Executive member of the council Rup Kumar Deori said a bamboo bridge often needed to be repaired or completely reconstructed. “It was a recurring expense and we thought that the best way to do away with this is to build the floating bridge that would last for several years without repairs,” he said.
About 10,000 drums had been procured from Jorhat and it was based on a model seen at Bogibeel in Dibrugarh district.
“Kamal Saikia who did all the welding was taken to Bogibeel to see such a bridge which was floating on plastic drums and he put this one in place,” Deori said.
The 86 metre long and 1.5 metre wide bridge has been built at a cost of Rs 5 lakh and can be traversed by foot, cycle and motorcycle but not by four-wheelers.