Assam, September 8: Majuli in Assam is granted district status by the Assam Government today. With this Majuli becomes India’s first island district. Earlier it was sub-division of Jorhat district. Decision in this regard was taken by the state cabinet meeting presided by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who represents the Majuli assembly seat in Guwahati. Residents of the river island have expressed their positive response to the move of the state government as it is likely to help them in administrative works.Majuli is a 400 square kilometers island in the Brahmaputra River. It has no road or rail connection with rest of the world. It is one of the prime tourist destinations of North East. Nearly 1 lakh 60,000 people reside in the river island.The inhabitants in Majuli are mostly 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.
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.Majuli Island is a rich environmental hotspot harbouring. It is home of many rare and endangered avifauna species including migratory birds. Due to erosion of river-bank of the island it has shrunk from about 1250 sq km in 1891 to about 515 sq km. With this the erosion-troubled Majuli Island will become the 34th district of Assam.