Assam is bracing from another waves of devastation, loss of human lives, crops and livestock, as flood season is advancing. Do we not have any solution to this misery and suffering ? Honorable Chief minister of Assam, Mr. Sarbananda Sonowal is quite hopeful about finding a permanent solution through recently constituted North East Water Management Authority, under the chairmanship of the vice chairman of NITI Aayog.
Saving Majuli, the world’s biggest river island, from flood and erosion is a big concern for everybody. It is heartening to know that Majuli has reclaimed around 22.08 sq. km. land during the period from 2004 to 2016. Satellite Imageries confirm, from 1988 to 2015, total deposition in Brahmaputra Valley is 208 sq. km. against erosion of 798 sq. km. Frequently, we hear about bank erosion, but not about regaining land. Some part of this deposition is through natural processes, and the remaining is due to ongoing efforts of government agencies namely Brahmaputra Board and Water Resources Department of Govt. of Assam, achieved with the help of implementation of anti-erosion and bank protection measures by deploying permeable RCC porcupine screens/spurs/dampeners etc. Though, the reclaimed land cannot be used immediately for agriculture purposes, as it’ll take time to redevelop the top soil, however, it is heartening to know about regaining the lost land by redeposition.
It’s widely accepted belief that the flood in Brahmaputra Valley cannot be controlled entirely, and solutions offered by different experts are largely divided. There is an urgent need of prioritising our approach, and find a workable consensus to move ahead for a lasting solution. Brahmaputra is third largest river in the world in terms of its annual discharge, therefore, any measures towards flood mitigation is bound to be cost intensive.