Replying to a question in the Rajya Sabha, Rawat said that the Centre used satellite imagery to gauge the status of the river island after implementation of the Phase I of the Majuli Island Protection Scheme. In 2004 the land mass of the river island was 502.21 sq. k.m But post 2004, satellite imagery has shown that land mass is 520.26 sq. km. The Phase I of the project, which is part of the Master Plan prepared in 1999 was completed in 2004-2005. While 45 percent of the work of Phase II & III has been complete, the entire project work would be completed by 2014.
In this video mode of association to the outside world has been shown to the people who wants to visit the World largest river island Majuli or Majoli (Assamese: মাজুলী) in the Brahmaputra river, in the Indian state of Assam during the month of December 2012. We started our journey from Guwahati city, Assam & reach Jorhat at around 1 P.M. Majuli is situated at a distance of 20 km from Jorhat. One can take the bus or a hired taxi to the Nimati Steamer Ghat from where ferry services ply. The distance takes over three hours to cover, with three bus rides and two ferry rides. We decided to take our personal car for the journey. Majuli had a total area of 1,250 square kilometres (483 sq mi), but having lost significantly to erosion it has an area of only 421.65 square kilometres (163 sq mi) in 2001.
The island is formed by the Brahmaputra river in the south and the Kherkutia Xuti, a branch of the Brahmaputra, joined by the Subansiri River in the north. The island is about 200 kilometres east from the state's largest city — Guwahati. The island was formed due to course changes by the river Brahmaputra and its tributaries, mainly the Lohit. Majoli is also the abode of the Assamese neo-Vaisnavite culture.
Originally, the island was a narrow and long piece of land called Majoli (land in the middle of two parallel rivers) that had Brahmaputra flowing in the north and the Burhidihing flowing in the south, till they met at Lakhu. Frequent earthquakes in the period 1661--1696 set the stage for a catastrophic flood in 1750 that continued for 15 days, which is mentioned in historical texts and reflected in folklore. As a result of this flood, the Brahmaputra split into two and a branches—one flowing along the original channel and the other flowing along the Burhidihing channel and the Majuli island was formed. The locals speak in the Assamese language. However, what is certain is Majuli has been the cultural capital of Assamese civilisation since the 16th century; based on written records describing the visit of Sankardeva — a 16th century social reformer.
The island soon became the leading centre of Vaishavinism with the establishment of these satras. After the arrival of the British, the island was under the rule of the British till India gained independence in 1947. The main industry is agriculture, with paddy being the chief crop. Majuli has a rich and diverse agricultural tradition, with as many as a hundred different varieties of rice grown, all grown without pesticides or artificial fertilisers. Among the fascinating arrays of rice produced are the Komal Saul, a unique type of rice that can be eaten just after immersing the grains in warm water for fifteen minutes, and usually eaten as a breakfast cereal; Weaving is exquisite and intricate with the use of a variety of colours and textures of cotton and silk, especially 'muga' silk. The dwellers of Majuli are mostly tribal folk. These tribal are the mishing tribes from Arunachal Pradesh and who immigrated here centuries ago. Apart from them, the inhabitants are also from the Deori and Sonowal Kacharis tribes. Languages spoken here are Mishing, Assamese, Deori. The island has one hundred and forty four villages with a population of 150,000 and a density of 300 individuals per square km. The heart of all villages is the Namghar, where villagers episodically gather to sing and pray. It is the most important public place for the villagers.
The inhabitants are expert navigators by boat; their expertise is most visible during the monsoon season when they navigate the turbulent waters of the Brahmaputra. Extremism is also a major concern in the region. The insurgent group the ULFA, has a wide network in the region. The island has been the hub of Assamese neo-Vaishnavite culture, initiated around 15th century by the revered Assamese saint Srimanta Sankardeva. Sixty-five out of the six hundred and sixty-five original satras in Assam were situated in Majuli.