Monday, February 26, 2024

Integrated river basin management advocated for Arunachal


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Itanagar: Hydrological experts from Arunachal Pradesh and Assam on Monday advocated a holistic and integrated river basin plan and management of water resources between both the states to mitigate recurring flood and erosion problem.
Majority of the participants in a day-long workshop on ‘Integrated river basin management for mitigation of flood and disasters in inter-state rivers of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam: Perspective in the context of climate change’, have suggested a joint effort to get rid of the burgeoning problem haunting both the states since long.
While Arunachal loss an estimated 668.28 million tons of agriculturally useful topsoil annually due to erosion, the loss in neighbouring Assam amounts to 4,25,900 hectares in the past 66 years (1954-2010), the experts revealed.
Moreover, the experts felt that China’s intervention in the upper reaches of the Brahmaputra River by constructing dams was a major cause of concern for both the states. “Brahmaputra is most susceptible to reduction of flow thereby threatening food security to around 26 million people,” commented Partha J Das of Assam-based NGO Aaranyak.
Flood and erosion problems in the river catchments of Assam and Arunachal need to be considered in the disaster risk mitigation framework at catchment level and treated as part of a larger integrated river basin management plan, Das said.
“Assam and Arunachal should start collaborative initiatives to study the water induced hazards from the basin management perspectives, prepare basin level plans and start concrete and appropriate actions and interventions for basin level management of rivers through an inter-state cooperation mechanism as well as integrated mitigation of flood and erosion problem,” he added.
“Erosion in Arunachal creates flood problem for Assam because of sediment deposition on Brahmaputra river bed,” L Angu, chief engineer of Arunachal’s Water Resource Department (WRD), said. He suggested undertaking flood plain zoning and a paradigm shift in flood management between both the states.
“The need of the hour is for an integrated river basin management approach which is environmentally conducive with appropriate institutional mechanism properly fused with the traditional culture of the region,” Angu pointed out.
Arunachal Pradesh WRD secretary G Ete suggested proper flood forecasting and flood warning mechanism along with relief and rehabilitation package to mitigate flood problem in the region. Ete rued that despite the existence of Brahmaputra Board in Assam, it failed to live up to expectations. Referring to the Chinese intervention on the Brahmaputra, Ete disclosed that the matter had already been referred to the union Water Resources ministry for taking up at the right platform. (PTI)


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