Jorhat, Jan. 18: KMSS activists, led by its general secretary Akhil Gogoi, and residents of Salmora in Majuli today gheraoed a 15-member central and state team, which was visiting the island to inspect the erosion works under way on the river island.
The KMSS put forward eight additional proposals to protect the island from erosion and demanded that an integrated proposal be made, taking into cognisance the changing character of the Brahmapura. “The dams and the four-lane 700km highway in Arunachal Pradesh have led to a change in the river flow because of siltation in the river. We have sought a plan which integrates both Arunachal and Assam so that it is not a piecemeal attempt to stem the problem,” Gogoi said.
Another demand, which the team acceded to was holding monthly review meetings with the residents regarding the anti-erosion work and making everything as transparent as possible.
Gogoi said the Brahmaputra Board was constructing eight boulder spurs, the first three of were at Salmora. “We have asked for more erosion protection measures, which the team led by Debendra Sharma, chairman, standing committee of experts for protection of Majuli, said it would consider.”
“In 2003-04, the Brahmaputra Board was entrusted with the erosion protection work in Majuli but it failed to do much,” he said.
Among the other members of the team were Narendra Kumar, commissioner, Brah-maputra and Barak river basin, ministry of water resources, Central Water Commission chief engineer K.K. Kesri, M.N. Singh, joint director, Water and Flood Research Station, CWC, Pune, and Brahmaputra Board chairman K. Yadav.