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Wild Guesses on Water

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  5 Aug 2017 12:00 AM GMT

<p>In a land where devastating floods are endemic, it is not very surprising to find a whole lot of people offering conservative solutions to the task of flood control and water magement. Much of the advice is bound to recommend the total rejection of any kind of dam to control the excesses of water. This is hardly surprising for the following reasons: (1) Most people seriously believe that ture must be left to follow its own inclition, and that any attempt to change the existing situation could lead to much worse calamities that are even beyond our imagition. This is closely related to the fear of the unknown. (2) So far, no one has undertaken a serious study of our recurring flood damage even with models designed to simulate the rather extraordiry situations. We thus have many people who presume to talk like geologists even though they are not geologists. It is all very well for people like Tarun Gogoi to say, “We had requested the Centre to halt the construction of the dams till a proper study on downstream areas was done.” One can very well ask what he did during his 15-year stint as Chief Minister. Or will he now presume to tell us that 15 years was not enough time to complete a ‘proper study’ on downstream areas of the State? (3) The one unfortute experience of the Rangadi hydroelectric power project of the NEEPCO in Lakhimpur district seems to have been generalized to put a ban on all dams and future hydroelectric projects in the State. That would be a very unfortute approach to the important tasks of flood control in Assam and proper use of the potential that we have for generating sizeable amounts of power through hydroelectric projects. A far more sensible approach would be to keep asking the Centre for the requisite funds for a permanent solution to the problem of floods in Assam and to make sure that there is no leakage of such huge funds to private coffers.<br />

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