IMPACT OF FLOOD AND RIVERBANK EROSION IN MAJULI, ASSAM (INDIA) AND ITS RESTORATION MEASURES

Dibya Jyoti Kalita
Research scholar (M. Phil), Department of Economics
Dibrugarh University, Dibrugarh, Assam, India


Abstract
Set amidst the mighty river Brahmaputra, Majuli is one of the largest inhabited river islands in the world. Majuli is also known as a land of the Sattra which has made its life and culture distinguished from other societies. However, Presently Majuli is well known for having suffered from two natural hazards: severe bank erosion and flooding. The flood of Brahmaputra River has been creating havoc every year in the Island. The erosion in the Island is constantly reducing the area of the land, eroding many villages and Sattras. It also enhances internal and external migration of the people and created a class of landless poor. Available data shows that during 1914 the size of Majuli was 733.79 sq. km which now reduce to 522.73 sq. km in 2013. A positive aspect for Majuli is that a number of organizations are working for the protection and preservation of this unique island. Execution of Majuli protection work by the Brahmaputra Board has resulted in the river island regaining landmass at an average rate of 2 to 2.5 sq. km annually from 2004 to 2013. Through this study, the trend of river bank erosion and effect of flood and erosion on the island is analyzed. This study also assessed the measures taken to control erosion in the river island Majuli.

Key words: River Island Majuli, Brahmaputra River, Riverbank Erosion, Flood, Restoration Measures

1. Introduction  
       
Set amidst the mighty river Brahmaputra, Majuli is one of the largest inhabited river islands in the world. The Island is bounded by three Rivers: the Kherkutia Suti (a spill channel of the Brahmaputra River) on the north-east, the Subansiri River and her tributaries on the north-west and the Brahmaputra River on the south and south-west. Majuli was created as a result of periodical natural changes in the course of the river Brahmaputra caused by frequent major earthquakes in different times as well as high floods (MCLMA, 2014).  Majuli is, first, a river-made island, a water-locked inhabited zone; and second, it is known as a land of the Sattra which has made its life and culture distinguished from other societies (Nath, 2009). Majuli is the nerve-centre of Neo-vaishnavite Hindu religion, art and culture. In fact, it is considered to be the “Vatican of Neo-Vaishnavism” (Pegu, 2013).

The island has been always prone to erosion since inception with consequent result of gradual reduction of its territorial extent (Nath, 2009). Its geographical area was nearly 1,256 sq. km as per government survey of 1891 and as per the land survey records of 1950, the total habitable landmass was 1245.12 sq. km (it included entire reach of the Brahmaputra water body up to left bank along Sibsagar, Jorhat and Golaghat Districts) but much of it was washed away by the river Brahmaputra in the second half of the twentieth century due to erosion. According to a report of Brahmaputra Board, in 2013, the size of Majuli Island is only 522.73 sq. km. According to Sarma and Phukan (2004), there is a continuous decrease in the area of Majuli from 751.31 sq. km in 1917 to 564.01 sq. km in 1966-1972, 453.76 sq. km in 1996 and 421.65 sq. km in 2001. The average annual rate of erosion was found as 1.77 sq. km per year from 1917 to 1972, 1.84 sq. km per year from 1972 to 1996 and 6.42 sq. km pear year from 1996 to 2001. The erosion in the Island is constantly reducing the area of the land, eroding many villages. It also enhances internal and external migration of the people and created a class of landless poor. There were many Sattras which are eroded by the flood of Brahmaputra River and many were shifted to other parts and also setting up branches across different places of the state, which are creating a threat to the existence of such age-old establishment.    
                   

2. Objectives
  • to analyze the trend of river bank erosion and effect of flood and erosion on the river island Majuli.
  • to assess the measures taken to control erosion in the river island Majuli.

3. Methodology

The present study is descriptive in nature. The present study has used secondary data to meet its objectives. Secondary data was collected from different reports of the government agencies, books, research journals, newspapers, periodicals and different websites. Author’s own interpretation were added in this article.

4. Results and Discussion

4.1 Geographical Description of the Island

Majuli is situated between 26°45'N to 27°12'N Latitude and 93°39'E to 94°35'E Longitude. This myrobalan shaped Island is situated in the upper reaches of the Brahmaputra, 630 km upstream of the Indo-Bangladesh border and 1100 km from its mouth. Its elevation from the mean sea level is 84.50 metres (277.2 ft). The island, situated in Jorhat district of northern Assam is about 80 km wide and about 10-15 km long. This Riverine Island is bounded by North Lakhimpur and Dhemaji districts on the north while Sivasagar and Jorhat districts lie toward its east. Golaghat district is to the south of Majuli while Nagaon and Sonitpur districts lie towards its west (Figure 1).

To read the full article click PDF Online [Page 21 to 30]


1 comment:

  1. A very awesome blog post. We are really grateful for your blog post. You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post. ezfloodrestoration

    ReplyDelete

Share Every Sense on Art, Culture & Literature; Travel & Tourism; Commerce & Economy; Science & Technology; etc. Send us your Write-up by Email: dimorianreview@gmail.com

DIMORIAN REVIEW WELCOMES YOUR ASSOCIATION AS CONTRIBUTOR

Share every sense on Art, Culture & Literature; Travel & Tourism; Commerce & Economy; Science & Technology; etc. Publish Article, Story, Poetry, Book Review, Travelogue, Recipe and News. Send us your creative contents written or transcreated in English at E-mail:dimorianreview@gmail.com

Get Free Updates at Your Inbox! Enter Your Email Address:

HAPPY TO SEE YOU HERE. PLEASE VISIT AGAIN. HAVE GOOD TIME!

Twitter Bird Gadget