Every year thousands of people are getting displaced from their native due to floods in Assam, yet nobody is aware of the tensed situation or wants to know about it. The 2019 Assam flood has left many into the trauma due to the socio-economic loss that it has been facing continuously. Along with Assam, another state Bihar is equally fighting for similar causes.
The mighty Brahmaputra river as we say with pride in our general knowledge books is flowing above the normal water level thus overlaying the entire Kaziranga National Park lifeless. More than 12 one-horned rhinoceroses die while close to 12 of them drowned. The forest department is trying its best to rescue the ones caught up with the flood.
Each year Assam suffers a staggering loss of life and property. This is the only region in north-east India that feels neglected by the government. Every time a situation like a flood and land-erosion takes places it somehow misses the eyes of the highest authority. The center is not to be blamed always but it is also the prime duty of the state to take responsibility for the flood before it kills million of innocent animals, people, and property.
Brahmaputra river alone isn’t the cause of flooding. The river receives as many as 100 tributaries, 40 large ones in Assam alone creating the complex river systems in the world. The flow of the river is exceedingly large flow with its braided channels in most of the course in Assam that creates sandbars and islands. Every year during monsoon season the upstream glaciers melt and the north-east region of India is subjected to high rainfall, therefore, there are many areas that are at risk of cloudburst and cyclones. Thus the rising water level gives birth to flood in these regions.
There have been many recommendations when it comes to managing situations such as floods for decades since 1954. Now we are able to recognize the embankments aren’t any long term measure but it’s for a shorter time period. Also, it has been noticed that there has been a lack of communication in addressing a situation like floods.
There aren’t any adequate fund allocation along with government deficit and lack of a basin-wide approach. Their state with the help of the center should have practiced international best practices such as giving room to the river to flow and Flood Plain Zoning should have been implemented several decades ago.
The key recommendations that we must implement are: 1) Develop a 20-year-old comprehensive Brahmaputra Basin Water Management Plan 2038 to address flood management and erosion. 2) Plan 2038 should be funded by the central government vide a planned outlay and soft loans from external sources. 3) River Bank Stabilization and River Training Plan for the Brahmaputra River System should be the first recourse that considers the effect of the hydraulics of the river. 4) Refocus on the drainage development work alongside embankments that were abandoned after 1970.
The people of Assam are facing a huge crisis when it comes to gathering basic life amenities. There is a dire need of relief funds that the center must embark upon in situations governing natural crisis. It is high-time the center gives an eye to the most neglected part of India rather than show-up in the time of elections.