Majuli May Completely Disappear: Experts

Children crossing a bamboo bridge in Majuli

Children crossing a bamboo bridge in Majuli

Majuli- the largest river island of the world- may completely disappear from earth’s map by 2040, thanks to climate change.

This will happen mainly due to the rampant flooding of the Brahmaputra, which has been causing severe erosion of the island.

“Human mismanagement is exacerbating the problem and for Majuli’s 170,000 islanders, the future looks bleak,” The Assam Tribune reported.

“The floodwaters are submerging more and more areas of the island and for longer periods, wrecking crops and rendering land infertile,” the report further said.

As per reports Majul was 1,250 square kilometres in 1890 but the Brahmaputra’s fast-flowing waters have eroded its major portion.

Now just 515 square kilometres of the islands remain.

If the rate of erosion continues unabated, then Majuli will cease to exists and completely disappear in the next 15-20 years.

This was claimed by the Majuli Island Protection and Development Council- a local non-profit agency.

As per local media reports, flood and erosion have displaced around 10,000 families in the past 12 years.

The Brahmaputra, which originates in Tibet, is reportedly getting bigger and bigger every year and is losing its depth and getting wider, attacking the banks and eroding the land.

An artisan giving final touches to a traditional mask. Image: Luit Chaliha

“Fast melting Himalayan glaciers – two-thirds of which could disappear by 2100 according to a major report in February – caused by global warming are a major culprit for the heavy flooding,” The Assam Tribune reported.

It may be mentioned here that the Brahmaputra is reliant on snow and ice from the mountains.

An increase in melting means more water in the short term, it’s arrival is uncontrolled and intense.

Majuli is the hub of Assamese neo-Vaishnavite culture, initiated around the 15th century by Srimanta Sankardeva and his disciple Madhavdeva.

The island has several Satras (monasteries) constructed by the saint and the prominent ones are Dakhinpat Satra, Garamurh Satra, Auniati Satra, Kamalabari Satra, Narasingha Satra, Benegenaati Satra, Shamaguri Satra, and Bihimpur Satra.

The river island is also popular for the traditional mask making, Bhaona, and the Raas Festival.

If what the experts say turns to reality, then Assam should ready itself to face the most irreparable loss ever.

A view of Komalabari Ferry Ghat at Majuli. Image: Luit Chaliha
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