Monsoon misery: Assam's annual tryst with floods

Monsoon misery: Assam's annual tryst with floods


Assam falls below a meteorologic zone that receives excess monsoon rains
Brahmaputra carries tons of water and sediments - another natural reason for floods
Monsoon misery: Assam's annual tryst with floods
Destruction of wetlands and encroachment of plains have worsened the case

It's tucked away within the within pages of national newspapers, seldom makes it to time TV bulletins, hardly finds mention within the national discourse on development...floods in state square measure associate annual affair, seldom raising quite associate supercilium.

As positive as night follows day, floods in state (and in most components of the Northeast) follow the monsoon. This year has been no completely different.

According to information place out by state State Disaster Management Authority, until Gregorian calendar month eighteen the price has touched twenty seven and is probably going to travel up. Over 4,000 villages in twenty eight districts out of the state's thirty three are affected.

Assam's population is simply over three crore; of this fifty three.5 lakh-plus individuals square measure below threat. whereas on the point of one,000 homes are broken, eighty eight animals are washed away. Over sixteen large integer animals, as well as stock are affected. footage of rhinos attempting to achieve higher grounds at the Kaziranga parkland surfaced on Thursday.

Over two large integer hectares of crop land are plagued by the flood waters. Infrastructure -- roads, bridges, culverts - and public utilities have conjointly taken successful.

Floods result in loss in human lives and also the economy takes an enormous hit. in keeping with Central Water Commission information (1953-2016) on the average twenty six large integer individuals square measure affected per annum in Assam; forty seven lose lives, 10,961 bovine die, Rs seven large integer price of homes destroyed and also the total harm comes up to Rs 128 large integer per annum.

Why is state flood-prone?

There square measure each natural and artificial  causes for the annual deluge.

Most of state falls below a meteorologic zone that receives excessive rain throughout the monsoon season. in keeping with the river Board, a cytoplasm below the Ministry of Jal Shakti tasked to observe and management floods, the region receives precipitation "ranging from 248 cm to 635...Rainfall of quite forty millimeter in associate hour is frequent and around seventy millimeter per hour is additionally not uncommon". There are occasions once five hundred millimeter of precipitation has been recorded in a very day.

The natural depression through that the river flows is slender. whereas the watercourse occupies 6-10 kilometer, there square measure forest covers on either aspect. The remaining space is tenanted and farming is conducted within the low-lying areas. Overflowing rivers and flowing apace down the natural depression tend to spill over once it reaches the slender strips.

The zone's topography conjointly complicates matters. The steep slopes force the rivers to gush all the way down to the plains.

Assam lies in a very seismal zone -- really most of the Northeast will. Frequent earthquakes and resultant landslides push soil and junk into the rivers. This geological phenomenon raises watercourse beds.

Brahmaputra water contains additional sediments raising watercourse by three metres in some places and reducing the water carrying capability of the watercourse.

Then there square measure artificial  causes that have worsened the flood state of affairs. Encroachment may be a huge issue. The population density of river natural depression was 9-29 individuals per sq kilometer in 1940-41; this shot up to two hundred individuals per sq kilometer currently, according river Board.

The systematic destruction of wetlands and water bodies that act as natural run-offs have aggravated the flood downside in state. tho' embankments give protection, most of them haven't been maintained resulting in breaches.

First and foremost is that the want for early warning systems. There square measure reports that round the Assam-Bhutan border, villagers kind WhatsApp teams to warn individuals of rising water levels.

If such people-people arrangements will estimate then there's no reason why additional institutionalised systems, supported technology, can not be place in situ.

Wetlands and native water bodies ought to be revived in order that the natural system will act as a basin for excess water to flow. this might entail clearing human encroachments within the river flood plains.

Embankments ought to be frequently checked for breaches and systems place in situ for maintenance; a primary step would be to interrupt the babu-contractor nexus that finds floods a simple thanks to sponge cash from the system.

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