GUWAHATI: How to live with the Mahabahu (the Brahmaputra)? This single question has made the Brahmaputra Board, the CWC (Central Water Commission) and the IIT-Guwahati to get into a huddle for understanding the fury of this mighty and only river of India having a male name. It is also a means to find permanent ways for tackling of the floods and erosion caused by the river across Assam annually.
On December 9, 2020, the Brahmaputra Board, CWC and IIT-Guwahati signed the MoU (Memorandum of Understanding). IIT-Guwahati has been roped in for the mission to analyse the quality of water, sand and sediment of the river to seek solution to erosion.
The mission that set in motion on December 23, 2020 with a rafting expedition – 'Brahmaputra AmantranAbhiyan' (BAA) – from Tuting in Arunachal Pradesh will conclude on January 21, 2021 at Assameralga in Mankachar district on the Indo-Bangladesh border. The rafting team comprises personnel from the NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) and experts from the North East Space Application Centre, besides academics from IIT-Guwahati.
Each mentioned group of the team started collection of samples of their interest soon after the explorers entered Assam from Pasighat on December 31, 2020.
The IIT academics are collecting samples of sand and rock from the river to study the riverbed. It will further aid in ascertaining the sizes and strengths of the sand granules.
These studies will lead to an understanding of the heavy erosion regularly caused by this river; and also in finding out its solution. The IIT team also aims to ascertain "for what purposes the sand and sediment of the river base can be used. A prime objective is to ensure whether the sand and sediment of this river can be used for construction of the proposed national highways on both banks of the Brahmaputra," said an engineer of the Brahmaputra Board.
The team members are also studying the fish habitats along the entire stretch of the Brahmaputra.
The expedition is marked by as many as 30 halts – studded with riparian cultural nites by the local artistes — from Aruanchal Pradesh to Mankachar.
The team reached Tezpur on Sunday when the video of the theme song of the expedition composed by Dr Prof. Arup Kumar Sarma was released by the Secretary of the Union Ministry of Jalshakti, UP Singh.