Jorhat, Sept. 14: The xatradhikars of Majuli-based Bhogpur and Bengenaati Xatras resorted to a sit-in today to draw the administration’s attention towards largescale erosion by the Brahmaputra that is threatening to wash away the two monasteries.
Expressing apprehension over the unremitting erosion in the area, Bhogpur xatradhikar Dutta Deva Goswami said it was only a matter of days when the embankment, over which ran the Kamalabari road, would be breached, with disastrous consequences — the island would be split into two — with the Brahmaputra joining the Luit.
“The Brahmaputra Board has failed to stem the erosion and yesterday, the river came in by around 20 metres. It is now flowing only about 10 to 15 metres away from the road. It might breach the embankment at any moment, wash away the two xatras in the vicinity, sweep across the Kamalabari, Uttar Kamalabari and Auniati Xatras and inundate the main township of Kamalabari and also Garmur, the sub-divisional headquarters,” he said.
Goswami said between 2000 and 2012, the xatradhikars and other organisations like the Majuli Surakshya Samannay Mancha, AASU and AJYCP had been protesting against the largescale erosion of the island but to no avail.Bengenaati Xatradhikar Bhabbananda Deva Goswami condemned the apathy of the government towards erosion. “We noticed the heavy erosion yesterday and immediately apprised the island administration as well as the Brahmaputra Board. We have demanded installation two protective porcupines screens, failing which the island will face a dangerous situation, worse than what took place at Sonowal Kachari in July, as this part is more populated.”
The people of the locality who joined the xatradhikars from 9am to 2pm in their demonstration expressed apprehension that a large chunk of land would be swallowed up by the river.
Majuli sub-divisional officer Loya Maduri, who took charge recently, said though there had been no erosion, the river had risen and moved inland. “The Brahmaputra Board has been working on the stretch since yesterday after we were apprised of the matter. Porcupines are being laid at places which are considered vulnerable,” she said.
Majuli, the seat of Vaishnavite culture and religion, has been in the news for the past two decades owing to massive erosion, floods and displacement as well as loss of lives and property.
Despite innumerable protests and pumping in of huge amounts of government funds, the situation has remained unchanged.
A group of xatradhikars had even apprised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of the threat during his visit to Jorhat in 2008.