Villagers continues carrying out traditional flood control measures at Seram village to save Mebo Dhola Road, the lone lifeline of the region.
By Maksam Tayeng
In a last desperate and hopeful attempt to save the lone lifeline of the region, the Mebo Dhola Road which connects part of Lower Mebo villages and villages from Lower Dibang valley, the villagers of Lower Mebo and part of villages from Paglam Circle under Dambuk Sub-Division of Lower Dibang Valley on Thursday carried out a massive flood control measure at Seram village.
The villagers from Anpum and Loklung villages under Lower Dibang Valley and Kongkul village from Lower Mebo under Mebo Sub-Division constructed and erected bamboo made porcupine spurts loaded with sand filled gunny bags. The voluntary traditional means of flood control works were carried out at three locations where two workers were also injured when landslide occurred out of continuous massive erosion.
Speaking at the sideline of the works, Bimal Perme from Anpum village, Lower Dibang Valley who happens to be a former Zila Parishad Member said that, this Mebo Dhola Road (MDR) is the lone lifeline for them too which if snapped off shall put them under pathetic situations too. “We came here to save the MDR which is just few metres away from being eroded by Siang river which is continuously eroding soil toward the left bank side of Siang river. We don’t’ have any option left except to attempt desperately and hopefully to save this lone lifeline of the region and we are using new technique of porcupine spurs which is likely to contain erosion at certain level”, added Perme. Head Gaon Burah of Anpum also spoke and appealed everyone from the region to help MDR protected.
While Mrs Bapiyang Tayeng, former Anchal Samity Member from Borguli village who also helped the menfolks in the voluntary flood protection works appealed Pema Khandu led state government to give exception care and consideration to this region of Lower Mebo which has been facing the curse of Siang River from so many years.
“We are thankful to Chief Minister Pema Khandu for granting a financial assistance of Rs. 35 Cr for the flood control works in our affected areas, but we would like to request CM to hand over the funds to the affected villages committee to carry out maximum works out of minimum funds. If funds are handed over to any company or firms from outside, they will not work sufficiently to cover the entire major/vital zone where flood control bunds are required.
We heard that only 600 Mtrs to 1 KM stretches of area can be covered by the funds of Rs. 35 Crs, but if the same is handed over to our care, we will use the entire money in procuring materials and other basic needs by engaging men-force free of cost involving all the affected villages and also by requesting and hiring other Adi villages to help voluntarily. In that manner we will be able to construct more than 5-6 KMs of areas at Sigar, Borguli, Seram and Namsing side where vital points are observed and requires diversion of river current”, added Bipiyang Tayeng.
Siang Ecosystem Environment and Nurturing Group (SEEANG) committee Secretary General, Group Captain retired, Mohonto Panging also rued the same. “If this MDR is snapped off, the entire Lower Mebo villages including several villages under Paglam circle of Lower Dibang Valley will be also largely affected.
The students studying at Mebo (Romdum), Pasighat, basic medical requirements at Pasighat and marketing purposes will be also laregely hampered and affected. I would also request CM to find out some modalities so that the sanctioned funds of Rs. 35 Cr are handed over to the affected villages and its committee ‘SEEANG’ so that maximum works are done out of the funds without going for global tender.
Waiting for another sanction would be a distant dream for the moment when Siang River is eroding the human habituated areas every monsoon. So we want to construct strong boulder bunds of 1-2 KM stretches in 3-4 vital locations like that of the Komlighat near Pasighat township covering 6-7 KMs in total which will mostly divert the impact of river waves/currents toward the left bank side”, added Panging.
Addl. Dy. Commissioner (retired) and SEEANG committee Advisor, Ranpok Perme and Adi Baane Kebang East Siang Unit General Secretary, Talut Siram and President, Obing Yomso also rued the same and appealed for maximum works out of minimum funds.
“If global tender are floated, if works are handed over the to a company/firm or a person, only certain portions and stretches will be covered as per DPR (600 Mtrs), but if the funds are channelized to be used by the affected villages and its committee, the affected people including well-wisher villages of far flung areas also ready to give their free and voluntary workforce without seeking even a single penny.
All the funds will be used judiciously so that government money are also saved. The sub-contract, petty contract and several local level rush for material supply contract works are waste of money. State government must understand the situation and do not go by the middlemen approaching and batting for global tender for their gains. The ground realities and situations demands proper and cent-percent proper and maximum works out of the limited funds”, added Perme and ABK representatives.
Meanwhile, it is said that, many more crush programme flood control works will be carried out soon in order to lessen the impact of erosion so that MDR are somehow saved this time as flood worries are believed to be solved by construction of flood control works out of DoNER ministry funds of Rs. 35 Cr in the coming dry season when works are likely to be started.