Silchar: Nearly 50 families in Assam’s Hailakandi district are passing days in fear and anxiety as the embankment of the Katakhal river is seemingly on the verge of caving in owing to large-scale soil erosion along the dyke.

According to locals of Matijuri and its neighbouring villages, there has been large-scale soil erosion along the dyke of the Katakhal river in Matijuri, about 8 km from Hailakandi, over the past few days.

At least four houses and a road in the area were swallowed up by the river after around 200m portion of the embankment caved in a few days ago and this has caused panic among people, locals said. 

Panic among several families in Assam’s Hailakandi district due to large-scale soil erosion

Even as the locals are living in fear and staring at an uncertain future, they allege that authorities concerned are oblivious to their plight.

“The water resources department seems to be least bothered about the problems being faced by the people and is not taking any action. This neglectful attitude of the department is causing fear among people and it may result in a massive democratic movement if steps to repair the embankment and prevent soil erosion are not taken soon,” locals claimed.

They alleged that besides Matijuri, the dyke is in a deplorable condition in some other areas, including Nimaichandpur, Rajyeshwarpur, Ratanpur, and Basdahar under the Hailakandi assembly constituency and within 10-15 km from Hailakandi town.

They also stressed the authorities concerned need to initiate appropriate steps to repair the embankment at the earliest. Besides, the residents demanded that the people who lost their houses in the recent collapse of the dyke be provided adequate compensation by the government. They also sought the intervention of Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on the matter.

Matijuri, Nimaichandpur, Rajyeshwarpur, Ratanpur, and Basdahar have a combined population of nearly 50 families, comprising around 200-300 people.

Fakhrul Islam Barbhuiya, Shaker Hossain Laskar, Shedwan Hossain Laskar, and Jaidul Alam Barbhuiya, who lost their houses after the Katakhal’s embankment caved in recently, said they have been living in the open since the incident and have been asking the Assam government for help.

Meanwhile, Hailakandi AIUDF legislator Zakir Hussain Laskar said he would take up the matter with the authorities concerned and necessary steps would be taken soon.

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