The Telegraph
Tuesday , July 15 , 2014
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Three schools face erosion threat

Jorhat, July 14: Three schools in a riverine area in south Majuli stand precariously on the edge of the Brahmaputra.

The schools — Madarguri LP School, 186 Dakhin Salmarapar LP School and Notun Sokola LP School at Ahotguri — are likely to be washed away as erosion by the river assumes menacing proportions. Ahotguri is a sar area which lies on the southern tip of Majuli island neighbouring Dergaon and about 90km away from Garmur, the subdivisional headquarters.

Six elementary schools in the area have already fallen prey to erosion and rebuilt temporarily on safer ground.

The headmaster of Madarguri LP School and secretary of the LP schoolteachers’ body on the island, Jadav Mudoi, said while Notun Sokola LP School would have to be shifted for the second time, the Madarguri and Salmarapar schools would have to be rebuilt elsewhere for the first time. Both the schools are concrete structures. Mudoi blamed the government for not taking any measures to protect the area from the erosion.

“All these schools together have more than 200 students. The concrete building of the Sokola LP school was washed away two years ago and was rebuilt nearby temporarily and renamed Notun Sokola School. Even this school is under threat, so are 186 Salmarapar and Madarguri ones,” he said.

Some of the other schools that have been rebuilt are Bhimpara LP School, Koroiguri LP School, Hakupara LP School, Baghdhara LP School Shankardev Janajati ME School and SB ME School.

Other schools facing erosion threat are Huta LP School, Bilotia LP School, Pancharatna LP School and Pragati ME School.

Mudoi said the water resources department should have undertaken measures since the area fell under its jurisdiction and not under the Brahmaputra Board.

“The rainfall this year has been less. There has not been much flooding and consequently, erosion could be less too. However, this has been going on for years now and over the past 10 years, one school or the other has had to be shifted. The schoolchildren are the ones who suffer, they have to wait until the new building comes up,” Mudoi said. A resident of the area, Pranjal Borah, said though the Majuli MLA, Rajiv Lochan Pegu, was the state water resources minister, he had done nothing to contain erosion here.

Assistant executive engineer, water resources department, Majuli, K. Deka, said a mega project to the tune of Rs 338 crore to contain erosion on the entire island had been prepared by the department and was pending at Dispur.

“We are awaiting the state government’s nod to start work on that project which will include Ahotguri,” he said. The villages facing maximum erosion threat are Huta Gaon, Sesu Guri, Rioti Gaon Hal Pona Gaon and Madarguri Gaon.