‘Mou Chapori’ gone, Jorhat under threat
JORHAT, Aug 8 – The luxurious river-resort ‘Mou Chapori’ in the middle of the mighty Brahamaputra, at Neamati Ghat here could not sustain the death blows of the vigorous currents of the river and ultimately lost its existence due to the incessant and large-scale erosion during the last few days.
A paradise for nature lovers amidst the blues of the river, the river island holding the eco-friendly resort became a victim of the wrath of the river and ultimately went under the water much before being reopened for tourists on October 1 this year as usual.
The river island measuring 39 bighas, was taken on provisional lease from the government by an entrepreneur Dr Zakir Ahmed in 2005 and it was christened as ‘Mou Chapori’ thereafter. Dr Ahmed started the resort with a loan of Rs 25 lakh. The estimated cost of the resort was Rs 35 lakh.
Blending both tradition with modernity to create a homely ambience, detachable plywood cottages, Mishing chang ghars and other facilities of entertainment, the deserted river island was ultimately turned into a central point of attraction for tourists from the country and abroad.
Neamati Ghat too is not out of danger from the erosion. The water resource department was able to stop erosion at Neamati Ghat by constructing rock spurs and bullheads at several places. But recently the activities of the Inland Water Transport Authority of India (IWTA) have threatened Neamati Ghat once again. As a result Jorhat town too has come under threat from the Brahamaputra.
To stop the southward expansion of the river the government, coming under pressure from several organisations and the public, constructed several bullheads and spurs at Neamati Ghat and somehow managed to protect the historic place. But lately, a portion of Neamati Ghat was handed over to IWTA to establish a port for ferries there. IWTA has dug up a large portion of Neamati Ghat, measuring about 52 metres where earlier a shallow water level existed. But surprisingly the department did not take any action to prevent the current in the unprotected scar it made to the coastline of the river.
During summer the erosion takes a fierce turn and gobbles up the land there. Now between the No. 2 bullhead and No. 3 spur the portion of the coast of 500 metres has been damaged to a great extent by the erosion. The water resource department has been trying to stop the erosion temporarily by installing bamboo and boughs of cut trees in the affected areas. But without a permanent solution of the problem, the Neamati Ghat as well as the entire Jorhat town are sure to come under threat.
In this context sources at the water resource department informed that the strong currents of flood of the river Brahamaputra hitting at Chumoimari, Majuli were stopped by an immediately constructed embankment there. As a result the current was diverted towards Neamati Ghat which caused the large-scale erosion in these areas.
Source: The Assam Tribune