The Assam Government has granted district status to Majuli, a 400 square kilometres island in the Brahmaputra River. With this it becomes India’s first island district.
Decision in this regard was taken by the state cabinet meeting presided by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal in Guwahati.
With this erosion-troubled Majuli island will become the 35th district of Assam. Earlier it was sub-division of Jorhat district.
About Majuli island
- Geographical occurrence: The fluvial riverine island is formed by the Brahmaputra river system. It is the world’s largest mid river delta (island) system.
- The island is surrounded by Subanisri River in the North, main Brahmaputra River on the South and kherkatia Suli, split channel of Brahmaputra River in northeast.
- People and Culture: 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.
- The island had some 65 satras (monasteries adhering) to Vaishnavism. But large numbers of them were relocated to the mainland after being washed away.
- The main surviving satras include Garamurh, Dakhinpat, Kamalabari, Auniati and Bengenaati.
- Flora and Fauna: Majuli island is a rich environmental hotspot harbouring. It is home of many rare and endangered avifauna species including migratory birds.
- Erosion: Due to erosion of river-bank of the island it has shrunk from about 1250 sq km in 1891 to about 515 sq km.