| The Barak |
Silchar, Sept. 9: The Assam water resources department has begun work on an anti-erosion project at Panchgram in Hailakandi district after a delay of three years.
The superintending engineer of the department (Hailakandi division), P.K. Dev, said the Rs 17.53-crore project to set up a porcupine (a concrete structure of pillars and a row of other concrete fabrications in the middle) would help check erosion along a 1.5-km stretch of the Barak at Panchgram.
State water resources minister Rajiv Lochan Pegu, who visited Panchgram in April, said the tests conducted in the riverbed caused the delay in starting the anti-erosion work.
Engineers in the water resources department said the project was sanctioned in 2010 after it was first noticed that some portion of the 1.5km stretch at Panchgram had eroded after monsoon.
Since then, National Highway 53, which passes through Panchgram in the district, gets inundated during every monsoon. This year, the highway was inundated at least four times.
Dey said apart from setting up the porcupine, the eroded riverbanks would be buttressed by putting up boulder netting punctuated by six-feet-deep filter drains.
He said deep piling on the banks and riverbed would be initiated to contain erosion. At some places, geotextiles sheets from Hyderabad will be laid on the porcupines.
Sources said the three-year investigation into the nature of the erosions at Panchgram were led by additional chief engineer Pushpak Dutta, quality control specialist Haren Kalita and chief engineer Dilip Bhuyan of the water resources department.