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EDITORIAL Letters to The Editor

Letters to The Editor: Fighting Floods

This is to draw the attention of policymakers at the highest level and authorities concerned regarding some counter-measures the Floods menace in Assam, the Northeast and the nation as a whole. Such a problem cannot be solved in piecemeal. It needs something big with the involvement of all the stakeholders, besides declaring it a national problem.

First, construction of Floods storage reservoirs at suitable locations in the upstream of the Brahmaputra and the Barak including each and every major tributary for the storage of excess flood water. The State government should discuss this issue with the Centre, Bhutan, and Arunachal Pradesh.

Second, linking of all major rivers and tributaries is a must so that excess flood water in one river can be distributed to other rivers. We can even flow out excess water to the water scarce parts of India. Afterward, these river systems can be linked to different irrigation canal systems.

Third, we need to stop rampant hill-cutting and deforestation. All earth-filling should be done with  river silt so as to increase the water carrying capacity of rivers during the rainy season.

Fourth, large-scale plantation in catchment areas of rivers will increase water runoff time to reach the nearest river after heavy downpour. Stopping hill cutting will reduce silt deposition in rivers.

Fifth, construction of compact embankment-cum-road on either side of the river using suitable materials and latest suitable modern technology after getting the dredged out river silt. This measure will minimize the big river bank erosion.

Navigation along this river system will minimize silt deposition.

All these works shall be carried out by deploying reputed national or even international contractors after conducting proper investigation, design and supervision.

Bhaskar Deka,