September 9th, 2016
The 400 square km island on the Brahmaputra river, Majuli, has become the first river island district of India. It has also entered the Guinness Book of World Records by becoming the world’s largest river island replacing Marajo of Brazil.
The seat of neo-Vaishnavite Bhakti renaissance was bestowed with the title of district on Thursday which also coincides with the 90th birth anniversary of Assamese music maestro Bhupen Hazarika.
This was one of the first decisions taken by the Sarbananda Sonowal government in Assam, on their first cabinet meeting on May 24th, after coming to power. He had decided to bring the region to limelight by contesting Assembly election from there.
The whole island remains separated from the mainland and boats only ply between 8 am to 4 pm. The decision to make the island a district came as a big relief for the 1,53,362 people living there who belong from different tribes. Majuli has now become the 35th district of Assam.
The island has shrunk in area by almost 60 per cent since 1950 owing to the erosion of the mighty Brahmaputra river. Now, the residents can expect more development in the riverine area.
People are also expecting that the current government will make a strong case to attain the long-pending UNESCO ‘world heritage’ tag will now be expedited.