Jorhat, July 22: Villagers at Salmora in Majuli have turned to god as erosion that followed the floods has left at least 10 families homeless in the last few days.
Official sources said houses of at least 10 families disappeared as large patches of land in the area eroded after the floodwaters receded.
An AASU leader from Majuli, Kumud Bora, said since all efforts to protect the island from massive erosion, especially the projects taken up by the Brahmaputra Board failed, there was no option for the islanders but to turn to god.
The students’ organisation took the initiative to perform the puja today, where people of eastern Majuli participated.
The people of eastern Majuli today offered bhog to the Brahmaputra and prayed to the river god to spare Salmora village from erosion.
The village is on the eastern tip of the island.
Nearly 600 families of Salmora, famous for its pottery industry, have been affected in the recent floods. Most of these families are taking shelter on the embankment and surviving on relief materials provided by the sub-divisional administration and various NGOs and other agencies.
Upper Assam commissioner S.I. Hussain said since Salmora was on the bank of the river, erosion was rampant in these areas.
“There is no way erosion could be checked in these areas unless the Brahmaputra Board completes its projects,” Hussain said. The board has promised to complete these projects by 2014.
Assam governor J.B. Patnaik had recently directed the Jorhat district administration to relocate the flood-affected families of Salmora to another location within or outside Majuli.
Patnaik had visited the island on July 13. Official sources, however, said most of the families in Salmora have a separate plot of land either on the island or on the mainland, Jorhat, which was provided to them by the district administration several years back.
“These villagers are reluctant to shift from Salmora because of the lucrative pottery industry they are engaged in. The particular alluvial soil, used for making pots is available in these areas or nearby areas and as such the villagers are not willing to shift to another area,” a sub-divisional administration official said.
These families have, however, taken possession of the plot of land provided to them, it is alleged.