After a gap of three weeks, the Mohanaghat area of Dibrugarh has once again been hit by severe erosion by the Brahmaputra causing distress and concern among locals residing near the river bank. The water resources department said that huge swathes of land measuring approximately 70 metres long along the river bank and close to the embankment, has been washed away by the river. The residents of the area have been urged to remain vigilant and follow the instructions provided by the authorities.
To assess the situation, Dibrugarh MLA Prasanta Phukan and government officials visited the affected area on Monday. They instructed officials from the water resources department to deploy personnel and machinery to check the erosion. Considering the emerging situation, the MLA directed officials to prepare for the evacuation of residents living by the riverside if the erosion continues. The water resources department has already initiated the placement of geo-bags filled with silt and soil along the river bank to mitigate the erosion. Earlier the same area was hit by erosion in the first week of October. It is noteworthy that the eroded area had previously been fortified with geo-bags in June 2020 after six houses were engulfed by the Brahmaputra.
MLA Prasanta Phukan stated, “Engineers and experts are assessing the situation and formulating strategies to minimise further damage. The erosion is occurring due to receding water level of the Brahmaputra. It is a natural phenomenon. When water level drops erosion occurs. We are actively working to control the erosion by identifying the most vulnerable and threatened areas. We are using geo-bags and porcupines to control the erosion. Several measures are being explored to safeguard the area from future erosion risks.”
He further added, “In the past three years, the Brahmaputra River has altered its course in Dibrugarh. Previously, the main channel of the river used to be 200 meters away from here, but gradually it has moved closer to the Dibrugarh town protection dyke. We have submitted a proposal to the Asian Development Bank (ADB) requesting financial assistance for the implementation of a permanent erosion control project in Dibrugarh. Without a lasting solution to combat erosion, the threat to Dibrugarh town from the Brahmaputra will persist.”