Assam Flood Alert Update 2021: Govt Takes Stock of Flood Preparedness
Assam faced major floods in 1954, 1962, 1972, 1977, 1984, 1988, 1998, 2002, 2004 and 2012. Almost every year three to four waves of flood ravage the flood-prone areas of Assam.
Why Flood Situation in Assam
Assam with its vast network of rivers is prone to natural disasters like floods and erosion which has a negative impact on the overall development of the state. The Brahmaputra and Barak River with more than 50 numbers of tributaries feeding them, causes flood devastation in the monsoon period each year. The flood and erosion problem of Assam is singularly different from other states so far as extent and duration of flooding and magnitude of erosion is concerned and is probably the most acute and unique in the country.
The flood-prone area of the assam as assessed by the Rashtriya Barh Ayog (RBA) is 31.05 Lakh Hectares against the total area of state 78.523 Lakh Hectares i.e. about. 39.58 % of the total land area of Assam. This is about 9.40% of the total flood-prone area of the country. Records show that the average annual area affected by floods is 9.31 Lakh Hectares. The flood-prone area of the country as a whole stands at about 10.2 % of the total area of the country, but the flood-prone area of Assam is 39.58 % of the area of the state. It signifies that the flood-prone area of Assam is four times the national mark of the flood-prone area of the country.
During the post-independence period, Assam faced major floods in 1954, 1962, 1972, 1977, 1984, 1988, 1998, 2002, 2004 and 2012. Almost every year three to four waves of flood ravage the flood-prone areas of Assam. The average annual loss due to flood in Assam is to the tune of Rs. 200.00 Crores and particularly in 1998, the loss suffered was about Rs. 500.00 Crores and during the year 2004 it was about Rs. 771.00 Crores.
Area Covered by Brahmaputra River
First survey (1912-28)
Second survey (1963-75)
Third survey (2006 NESAC):
Breaches of embankment due to bank erosion by the rivers have become a common phenomenon. New areas are being affected by erosion every year. The riverine fertile agricultural lands of the state are reducing due to erosion, which has a very negative impact on the rural economy of the state.
The extent of damage due to bank erosion is alarming in nature which can be seen from the following table (as assessed by the Revenue Department):
State Water Resources Minister Pijush Hazarika on Thursday visited Kokrajhar and held discussion with the Chief Executive Member (CEM) of BTC, Pramod Boro, senior officers of the council Secretariat and officials of the department concerned regarding solution to the flood and erosion problem in the region. Hazarika visited the ongoing construction site of Kokrajhar Medical College and Hospital at Besorgaon in Kokrajhar before holding meeting with the department officials in BTC. He took stock of ongoing construction of Kokrajhar Medical College which is progressing fast. He also visited the erosion site by the River Gaurang passing near the Kokrajhar Medical College, Besorgaon to take protection measures.
Floods affected twenty villages in three districts in the State on Saturday, besides claiming the life of a person in Barpeta district. Rains in the past few days inundated 26 villages in Bongaigaon, Dhemaji, and Dibrugarh affecting around 3,717 people. The floodwaters washed away culverts and RCC bridges of some approach roads.
The flood situation remains grim and unchanged in the Dhemaji district. Following this, the Minister for Water Resources, Pijush Hazarika addressed a panel discussion with Minister Ranoj Pegu, MP from Lakhimpur Lok Sabha constituency Pradan Baruah and a member of the Jonai Assembly constituency, Bhuban Pegu on Thursday.
The meeting discussed, in particular, the measures to be taken for the permanent control of the Jiadhal river dam in the Dhemaji district.
Over 7,000 people of 96 villages in Assam’s two districts—Dhemaji and Dibrugarh have been hit by flood within the final 24 hours.
According to the state authorities’ Flood Reporting and Information System (FRIMS), 3,870 people have been affected in Jonai and Dhemaji income circles in Dhemaji district and three,717 in Chabua circle in Dibrugarh district.
Two different revenue circles, Manikpur and Srijangram of Bongaigaon district in western a part of the state have additionally been affected by flood however up to now there isn’t a report of any inhabitants being hit.
Reviewing the flood situation in the district, Barua asked the administration to ensure social distancing was adhered to in relief camps. He said if need be; more relief camps should be readied this time around in the district in view of the COVID pandemic. He also instructed the administration to guarantee that flood-affected people get required and adequate relief material.
The meeting was also attended by Partha Mazamder, Secretary, Social welfare department, Tej Prasad Bhusal, DC, Barpeta, Diganta Das, DDC, Manoj Sikaria, CEO, Zila Parishad, Amithabh Singa, SP, all Additional Deputy Commissioners, among others.
In first, the State Government is set to use drones as a pilot project for better flood management. To begin with, the Government is going to procure five drones – two big and three small ones. The very purpose of the pilot project is a proper assessment of floods through aerial surveillance, erosion in riparian areas, dropping of essential commodities for flood-affected people during emergencies, etc.
In view of the flood situation looming large in Dhemaji district, Chief Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday reviewed the flood preparedness of the Dhemaji district administration by taking part in a meeting organized in the conference hall the of Deputy Commissioner's office. During the same meeting, he also took stock of the COVID-19 situation as well as its management strategy adopted by the district administration in Dhemaji in presence of Ministers Dr. Ranuj Pegu and Sanjay Kishan and MLA Bhuban Pegu.
The Chief Minister informed media persons that the Tinsukia district administration had taken all preventive measures to mitigate people's sufferings from the possible flood. During the visit, Dr Sarma held discussion with district officials at the DC's conference hall in Tinsukia on Saturday in presence of Union Minister Rameswar Teli, State Minister Sanjoy Kishan and MLA of Digboi Suren Phukan.
The Chirang district administration on Tuesday reviewed the flood preparedness measures with the heads of line departments in the presence of a representative from ASDMA (Assam State Disaster Management Authority) as Nodal Officer for Chirang district, Biren Baishya.