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Should learn to live with floods: US scholar

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  7 Jun 2015 12:00 AM GMT

By our Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, June 6: "Flood is not a disaster, but an event only with whom we should learn to live with," said Columbia University scholar Jyoti Hosagrahar in a talk on 'Maging Guwahati: Today and Tomorrow' at the auditorium of Assam Administrative Staff College of Guwahati today.

The talk was organized by Assam State Disaster Magement Authority (ASDMA) to build a disaster-resilient state by working with various knowledge-based institutions and experts in different areas of disaster magement.

Hosagrahar said: "Guwahati is geographically a bowl shaped city with various rivers and hills around it. There are also many wetlands and swamps around the city which play an important role during the rainy season by absorbing water. This complex state of the city makes water-logging a problem which is tough to solve as bulk of the water doesn't drain out in the plain areas during the rainy season. The pumping of water in the Bharalu River also cannot solve the flood problem because the level of Brahmaputra is higher than that of the Bharalu. The outcome is loss of life and injuries, loss of infrastructure and trade, rise in prices etc."

Hosagrahar also said: "Like the city of Venice in Italy, Bangkok and Dhaka, we can this solve this problem. Venice stands on water bodies and the people there face floods twice a day. However, they can cope themselves with the situation as they have developed their culture through social and environmental way. There are floods in Venice but the systematic draige doesn't make the water dirty or polluted."

Meanwhile, the State Disaster Magement Department said in a release that Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi visited United States and entered into a collaboration with Earth Institute of Columbia University and thereafter two projects - Disaster Risk Reduction Including Climate Change Adaptation of Guwahati in the Context of Dymic Growth and Flood and Erosion Risk Mitigation Planning in Assam - were taken up.

The study on Disaster Risk Reduction, Including Climate Change Adaptation of Guwahati in the context of dymic growth is being made by Earth Institute, Columbia University, IIT, New Delhi and Sustaible Urbanism Intertiol, Bangalore under the aegis of Assam State Disaster Magement Authority.

State Chief Secretary VK Pipersenia was the chief guest on the occasion. Over 120 officials from various line departments attended the talk.

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