The first island district of India: Majuli.

The largest river island in the world is situated at the mighty Brahmaputra River, called Majuli. Frequent earthquakes between 1661 and 1696 paved the way for a devastating flood in 1750 that lasted around 15 days. Part of the Brahmaputra discharged southward, forming Majuli Island. In September 2016 Majuli became the first island to be declared as a district in Assam. The population of the island is a mixed community of tribal and non-tribal including those who immigrated from Arunachal Pradesh and speak languages like Assamese, Missing and Deori. All together, Majuli has 144 villages with a total population of over 150,000 people. Despite the inherent disadvantages, modernism has made an impact on this island, with the establishment of medical centres and various educational institutions. Houses have also transitioned from traditional bamboo and mud building to concrete constructions. Majuli is known to shelter many exotic and endangered avifauna species including migratory birds such as adjutant stork, Siberian Crane, Whistling teal and pelican. The wetland is also home to a different variety of flora and fauna because of the low pollution rate and the chronic rainfall. But how to reach Majuli is the question? Situated 20 km from Jorhat, Majuli can only be reached by ferry service from Nimatighat. This service runs every day between 7:30 AM to 4 PM. The ferry service connecting the island and the mainland is operated by the state government. They are wooden boats with engines. The passengers sit on long benches facing each other. This experience is something you will get nowhere else. But with days passing by, Majuli is disappearing. Majuli once listed as the largest river island in the world as it used to cover an area of 880 km2 in the early 20th century, but as per the recent reports, Majuli is losing its land to soil erosion and now stands to cover 352 km2. “The Brahmaputra is a blessing as well as a curse to Majuli” – said the locals. Climate change is not only the factor behind the disappearance of the Island. There are several hydroelectric projects and dams built over the Brahmaputra, which assert indirect control over the water. Floodgates open regularly, causing yet further flash floods to rip apart the landscape. What can be done to save the district Island of India? Steps have been taken by the state government to preserve the culture and heritage of Majuli. The Brahmaputra Board has undertaken flood prevention measures by constructing a floodwall that claims to effective in retarding the process of land erosion. Constant research has been conducted by various societies to bring long term solution for the preservation of the land.