ASSAM | We all know that soil erosion is a process wherein the topmost and fertile layer of the soil is lost. The process of soil erosion renders the soil less fertile and since the layer of the soil which gets eroded over time has the largest amount of essential nutrients, it makes it eventually less fertile for agriculture. Soil erosion can be carried out due to a variety of processes such as winds, flooding, deforestation, over grazing by cattle etc.
The state of Assam is being rapidly affected by the problem of soil erosion and in the last five years a large section of the population has been adversely impacted by the erosion of agricultural land. It is estimated that on an average 86,536 people have become landless in the last five years due to rapid soil erosion. The acknowledgement of this stark reality came when the minister of state for water resources, social justice and empowerment put forward this news in the parliament.
The Sonitpur region of Assam is one of the worst affected by soil erosion and the largest land to be eroded belongs to this region. The soil erosion is said to have taken place due to the annual floods in the state. It is in this region alone that 27,111 people have been rendered homeless due to soil erosion.
The Morigaon district of Assam has recorded the total number of people to be displaced by soil erosion to be at 18,425, 10,5oo people were displaced in Majuli island, 9,337 people have been displaced Kamrup district.
By quoting the data that has been offered by the state’s Revenue and Disaster Management Department, the minister has said that the highest amount of land that has eroded belongs to Majuli(4,0500 bigha), Barpeta district(1,20,493 bigha), Kamrup(92,734 bigha, 5 Katha, 71 lessa), Dhubri(87,036 bigha, 9 katha, 43 lessaa) and Dubrugarh(56186 bigha, 4 katha and 19 lessa).
The minister said that the management of flood relief is the work of the state but the Central government has launched various flood relief programs to enable the state government’s work by providing it financial assistance. He quoted that a total of 141 projects costing Rs 2,383.11 crore have been approved for the state.
The minister underlined that the central funds that came for the dealing of soil erosion had been channelized well to the state water resource department Northern Council, Non- Lapsable Central Pool of Resources, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development etc.
We know that a large number of people have been rendered homeless in Assam due to soil erosion and lacks of people have lost everything beginning from their homes, property to valuable belongings. It will remain to be seen how the government and the Centre collectively tackle with this impending crisis on the state and rehabilitate the citizens of Assam.