Majuli island Current Affairs - 2019
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The Union Government has launched new scheme for protection of Majuli Island in Assam from flood and erosion. The scheme was sanctioned by Government in March, 2017 and funding for it will be from Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER).
The scheme has been framed by Brahmaputra Board based on recommendations of the high level Expert Committee of Central Government that visits the world’s largest riverine island at least twice a year to monitor and recommend anti-erosion measures.
The major components of the scheme include
- Bank revetment with geo bags filled with earth/sand for a reach length of 27 km in 14 locations
- RCC porcupine works in 41 locations
- Construction of a sluice and
- Construction of a Pilot channel of length of 3.50 km.
Majuli Island is largest river island in world and first island district of the country. It is formed by Brahmaputra River in south and Kherkutia Xuti, another branch of Brahmaputra, joined by Subansiri River in north. The area of Majuli island recordere in 1914 was aroung 734 sq km and in 2004, it was recorded to be 502 sq km.
Geomorphologically, the entire Majuli island is part of alluvial flood plains of the Brahmaputra river. It is formed of soil consisting mainly of silt deposits which is without cohesion and susceptible to erosion. The problem of erosion was exacerbated after 1950 disastrous earthquake and has become severe environment issue as it remains mostly uncontained.
Assam Government launched Sustainable Action for Climate Resilient Development (SaCReD) Initiative to develop Majuli, the world’s largest river island, as the country’s first carbon neutral district.
It was launched by state Chief Minister Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on the occasion of International Day of Forests (observed on March 21).
- SaCReD Initiative will also ensure that infrastructure in Majuli has less carbon. It aims to battle climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- The will also aim to make the Majul island a biodiversity heritage site (BHS), first in the state in order to preserve its rich heritage and legacy.
- State Government also launched registry in Majuli to record and analyse the climate impact of all proposed projects in the district.
- Forests are Lives campaign was also launched to underline the importance of Assam’s rich forest and biodiversity. It urges people to take a pledge to conserve its biodiversity to make the state pollution free.
About Majuli Island
- Majuli island is fluvial riverine island is formed in the Brahmaputra river system. It is the world’s largest mid river delta (island) system. It is also India’s first river island.
- It is surrounded by Subanisri River in the North, main Brahmaputra River on the South and kherkatia Suli, split channel of Brahmaputra River in northeast.
- Majuli island is mostly inhabited by Mishing tribal people. It has been the hub of Assamese neo-Vaishnavite culture initiated by saint-reformer Srimanta Sankardeva in 15th century.
- It had some 65 satras (monasteries adhering) to Vaishnavism. Large numbers of them were relocated to mainland after being washed away. Some surviving satras are Garamurh, Dakhinpat, Kamalabari, Auniati and Bengenaati.
- Majuli island is a rich environmental hotspot harbouring. It is home of many rare and endangered avifauna species including migratory birds.
- Due to erosion of river-bank of the island it has shrunk from about 1250 sq km in 1891 to about 515 sq km.