A boat at Neematighat
Jorhat, July 31: The water resources department here has prepared a proposal worth Rs 67 crore to check the heavy erosion by the Brahmaputra at Neematighat on the outskirts of Jorhat.
The proposal will be sent shortly to the Central Water Commission, New Delhi, for sanction.
“Investigations said erosion was particularly heavy near the ghat, making it difficult for the Majuli ferries to dock,” Robin Chandra Bora, executive engineer, water resources department, said.
The heavy erosion is because of the Brahmaputra hitting the bank at almost a 90-degree angle from the Besamora side.
“In the last couple of days, the erosion has been less in the Neematighat area, but prior to that it was quite heavy and ferries had to shift from one part to the other in order to dock. However, the embankment protecting the town has not been eroded,” Bora said.
Sources said the Brahmaputra, which had earlier been flowing 200 metres away from the embankment, was now only about 50 metres away, and if the embankment came under threat, Jorhat town would be flooded.
“The Brahmaputra Board has given its observations on a few technical issues and these are being incorporated before sending it to the Central Water Commission for sanction,” he said.
The proposal envisages a porcupine screen downstream to divert the flow of the river and boulder pitching along the bank, to prevent erosion.
The Neemati-Hatihal anti-erosion project in the area was completed four years ago at a cost of Rs 38 crore, but the bund now faces the threat of erosion.
Started in 1996, it comprises two bullheads (pointed extensions of the spur) and three spurs, spread over a 13km stretch on the riverbank.
A source in the department had earlier said a piecemeal approach instead of an all-encompassing central plan had resulted in the problem being diverted from one area to another.
The source also said there had been a substantial increase of water pressure in the Brahmaputra channel flowing by Neematighat, because of an increase in the volume of water in the channel.
This was because of the anti-erosion measures, which had been executed on the bank opposite Neematighat, on the southern side of Majuli, in the past few years.