Nowkata bridge over Puthimari river in Baksa district of Assam Credit: EastMojo image 

Guwahati: The recent wave of floods in Assam has led to wide-scale embankment erosion in the state. On such place is Baksa district in lower Assam where overflow of water in Puthimari and Bornodi rivers is posing a big threat to people residing in the marginal areas.

Houses of many people have been destroyed, property worth lakhs were lost and large areas of cultivated lands in villages situated near the river banks submerged under river water following the massive embankment erosion in the district.

Massive erosion has been occurring at the embankments of Puthmari river in past few days

The ongoing erosion triggered by the high current carrying river Bornodi flowing from nearby Bhutan is also pressing a possible threat to the existence of a concrete bridge built over Puthimari river.

The Nowkata bridge build over Puthimari river is the lifeline of people, connecting Udalguri in east and Kokrajhar district. It is on the verge of collapsing due to constant embankment erosion on both ends of the bridge.

The concrete bridge that was constructed by the state government three years ago with Central funds of nearly Rs 22 crore is now becoming a matter of serious concern to the locals, as, almost 100 metre towards the north end of the bridge’s roadside embankment has been eroded.

Alleging authorities concerned and state government for their apathy in completing the construction as per project, a villager said that three metres of boulder-pressing at both ends of the bridge that was ordered as per the construction plan have never happened till date.

“Due to negligence of authorities in construction work as per the prescribed plan, the concrete bridge and the road passing through it are on the verge of getting washed away after one or two days,” the villager added.

Expressing grief over the matter, another villager said that the bridge that came up as a relief for the people by reducing travel time and risk of life while commuting between districts will again bring up the same concerns if it remains to be in negligence of the authorities.

“A huge amount of tax payers’ money nearly about Rs 22 crore that has been [used] in construction of the bridge will just be washed away in the water if government does not initiate restoration works immediately”, he added.

Road connectivity between Udalguri and Kokrajhar districts of lower Assam will be totally cut off if the Nowkota bridge built over Bornodi river in Baksa collapses in the ongoing embankment erosion and restoration works are not initiated immediately.

On July 25, a high alert was issued in lower Assam, especially in Kokrajhar, Barpeta, Bongaigaon, Chirang, Baksa and parts of Kamrup districts, after a hydro-electric power company in Bhutan, Druk Green Power Corporation (DGPC) Limited, announced the release of excess water to its neighbouring country.

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