Manu River erosion remains a big headache for locals

Agartala, Jul 09, 2020, Debashish Datta

As Manu River started gobbling lands along the banks in Kailashahar area, one villager - situation of Kamrangabari is fast detoriorating. Concerned about impending danger, administration chalked out a plan to strengthen the embankment and cementing the banks to prevent erosion. However, due to alleged lack of suprevision by the administration and negligence of the contractors have left the villagers - mostly farmers - in a lurch. 

Even few years ago, Manu river was around 500-600 meters away from the embankment at Kamrangabari village under Gournagar block in Kailashahar. However, after series of huge erosion, Manu River is flowing just 10- meter away from the embankment.

"Sensing impending danger, administration started cementing the river banks and setting boulders on the embankment in Kamrangabari Village area to prevent erosion”, sources said and added that NABARD had sanctioned Rs 84 lakh for this purpose. Accordingly, contractors started works along the embankment in the village.

“But, there was no supervision by the concerned department – as a result, contractors were negligent in completing the works. Moreover, contractors used sub-standard materials for making boulders”, locals alleged.

Villagers further alleged, “We have communicated with the concerned officers and informed them about poor quality works done by the contractors – however, despite several pleas, administration neither took step against the contractors nor ensured quality works”.

Meanwhile, sources said, Contractors left the contruction site around six months ago without finishing even half of the works. Around 500 families live in the village and most of them are either farmers. During 2018 devastating flood, dangerously overflowing Manu River almost breached the embankment – however, due to untiring efforts of villagers, the embankment was saved.

“2018 flood showed the vulnerable condition of the embankment and the necessity of strengthening the embankment – but, irony is that administration has failed to reckon with the plight of the villagers and neglected cementing works of the embankment along the river. If there is heavy rains and Manu River swells like 2018, it would be impossible to save the embankment”, sources said.

With monsoon season is set to start, people are foreseeing bleak time ahead and hoping against hope that administration would live up to the expection and complete the incomplete works on war footings.