Understanding the dynamics of devastated Assam floods

Understanding the dynamics of devastated Assam floods

Earlier at least a month ago, Assam was yet again in the grip of devastating flood, with 70 lakh people affected and left many dead, besides hundreds of animals.

Apart from the heavy and constant rainfall, here’s a brief outlook of the factors contributing to the devastating floods and what could be sustainable solution.

Here are the factors leading to flood in the northeastern state of Assam every year;

•Brahmaputra:- It’s very nature being the unstable, the river spreads over four countries- India, China, Bangladesh and Bhutan – with diverse environment.

•Its generates vast amount of sediment which comes from Tibet – from where it originates.

•On entering Assam i.e., rives comes from high slop to a flat plains surrounded by hills on all sides, its velocity decreases suddenly results in river unloading the sediment.

•Means river channels proves inadequate amidst the situation leading to erosion and thus floods in the region.

Manmades factors : Man-made which contributes to the floods are habitation, deforestation and encroachment in in forest lands is another main reason.

•When the sediment deposits accumulates sandbars or island – it becomes easy for people to settle in such places. When rainfall is heavy, it combines with all these factors and leads to destructive floods.

Earthquake: Assam and some other parts of the northeast are prone to regular earthquakes – causes landslides. The landslides and earthquakes brings a lot of debris in the nearby rivers, causing the river bed to rise.

Control Measures so far

Dams– In 1982 Brahmaputra Board had proposed to build dams to mitigate floods. Lately, there were protests against the idea on grounds of displacement and destruction of ecology.

Embankment: The govt has been using only this as a preventive measure on ad hoc basis so far. Since, it’s temporary, the govt didn’t spend on high-specification embankments – hence, it were breached periodically

Sustainable solution

As per report published in Indian Express – there should be a ‘basin-wide approach’ to the flood prone regions of Assam.

Structures and any forms of encroachment that obstruct the natural channel of the river flow needs to be removed.

Other genuine solution is desilting of riverbeds with latest technology in place. Others solution in our opinion are diversion of water to the other parts of the country which are drought hit with proper plan in place. The hydroelectric projects should complete at earliest.

The crises

The Assam floods 2020 has claimed many lives similarly like previous years while 24 of 33 districts were submerged. India Today reported few days ago that villages had been almost devastated. Dhubri, Goalpara, Dhemaji, Morigaon and Barpeta are among worst-affected districts in Assam.

While the floods also coincided with the worse COVID-19 pandemic in India, it has so far destroyed crops across the 5 districts. Quoting Wikipedia – the floods affected around 2 to 3 million in 27 districts and claiming the lives of more than 60 people. More than half of the area Kaziranga National Park and Pobitor Wildlife Sanctuary are affected by floods forcing animals to move to other places.


About The Author

Akhilesh Dhar is a media trainee who likes to write political columns with an interest in conflict and national security based reportage. He had interned with national media outlets like MyNation and Zee Business and with media agency IANS. He is frequent contributor to the various regional news media portals. Akhilesh Dhar has so far extensively worked on the subjects like Rohingya crises, India-Pakistan relations, social issues, strategic concerns, tracking BJP etc. Read More……….

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