Experts seek river solution

The experts in the water sector have called for knowledge-based intervention on problems related to the Brahmaputra. This was the common observation made by experts at a consultation on Water Governance in Assam: Priorities for Knowledge-based Interventions here today. The consultation was organised by Aaranyak, a society for bio-diversity conservation in collaboration with India Water Partnership (New Delhi).“We hardly know 20 per cent of Brahmaputra in its entirety and there is a need to know lot more,” Chandan Mahanta, a professor at the civil engineering department at IIT Guwahati told The Telegraph.On the need for catchment area treatment, participants pointed out that as many of the rivers originate outside the state, there is a need for regional-level cooperation. “Knowledge about the catchment area is very important,” said A.K. Mitra, former secretary of the water resources department, Assam.Discussions were centred on activities covering inter disciplinary research, intervention and policy advocacy for addressing the most important issues and problems in the water sector for the state of Assam.Participants at the meeting felt that a state wetland authority should be set up in order to get funds for conservation of water bodies. Others called for identifying drought-prone areas in the state as there have been a drought-like situation in the state recently. Usually floods and river bank erosion are the two most talked about water hazards in the state. But events like flash floods and land degradation because of silt deposition on river banks are important phenomena which have affected lives of people to a great extent in the state. There is a need to deliberate in detail on this issue, experts said.

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