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Thursday, July 25, 2019

Causes of flood in Assam

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Causes of flood in Assam

Assam continues to be on edge as the flood, which has almost become an annual calamity. According to the Rastriya Barh Ayog (RBA), 31.05 lakh hectares of the total 78.523 lakh hectares area of the state is prone to frequent floods. And the reasons behind this high flood prone area percentage are both man-made and natural.

Natural factor:-

  • Topography of Assam and meteorological factor (high rainfall) are the big reason behind Assam floods every year.
  • Assam and some other parts of the northeastern region are prone to frequent earthquakes, which causes landslides. The landslides and earthquakes send in a lot of debris in the rivers, causing the river bed to rise.
  • Assam has also faced bank erosion around the Brahmaputra and Barak rivers as well as their tributaries. It is estimated that annually nearly 8000 hectares land is lost to erosion. Bank erosion has also affected the width of the Brahmaputra river and it's .tributaries.
The man-made factors :-

  • habitation, deforestation, population growth in catchment areas 
  • (including in China), encroachment of river banks and wetlands, lack of drainage, unplanned urban growth, hill cutting — which lead to higher sedimentation. For example, the sediment deposition itself creates temporary sandbars or river islands.
  • The dams that are being built are further creating disasters.
  • The wetlands forests and local water bodies are being systematically destroyed which in turn is adding to the disaster vulnerability of the area

Measures needed:-
Realising the severity of the problem, flood control measures in Assam started in 1954 with the announcement of the National Policy for Flood by the Government of India.
  • Construction of Embankments and Flood walls
  • River training and bank protection works
  • Anti erosion and town protection works
  • River channelization with pro siltation device
  • Drainage improvement/ Sluices
  • Raised Platform
  • Flood forecasting and warning
  • Flood zoning
  • Interlinking of rivers may be one option, whereby the excess water from the flood-prone eastern India can be diverted to the water-scarce regions. However, for that a thorough environmental impact assessment is needed.
  • Government of Assam is planning to dredge the Brahmaputra from Sadiya to Dhubri to increase its storage capacity and mitigate flood-induced damages.
  • An “integrated basin management” system that should ideally bring in all the basin-sharing countries on board.
  • It is important to monitor the run-off and hydrological data in the upper catchment areas, particularly in Tibet before the onset of the monsoon for which cooperation at the regional, national and international levels is required.
  • On the basis of these data, warning can be issued well in advance so that people and livestock can be moved to safer places.

Sources: various News paper,insightias
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