GUWAHATI: Experts have urged the state government to formulate a comprehensive policy on management of floods and erosion. The necessity of a state policy on the issue was raised during a consultation on water governance, organised by biodiversity conservation NGO Aaranyak and New Delhi-based NGO India Water Partnership here on Saturday. Floods and erosion are two major water-induced hazards that ravage the state every year, causing misery and large-scale loss of property and livelihoods. In fact, about 5 lakh hectare of land has been lost in the state due to erosion alone since the 1950s.
“This consultation is about identifying and analyzing the most important water-related issues in the state for formulating a set of strategies for effective mitigation focusing on interdisciplinary research, intervention and policy advocacy. While flood and river bank erosion and land degradation due to sand deposit are the major water related problems, Assam is also periodically facing drought like situation,” Aaranyak’s head of water, climate and hazard programme, Partha J Das said.
There was also the demand for reviewing state’s draft water policy formulated about five years ago in the light of new national water policy. The concept note of the study has already been submitted by the state government to the Centre. “Union ministry of water resources has agreed on the study in principal. Now the proposal has been sent to the union ministry for development of North Eastern region for approval,” an official said.
The study was planned because another study carried out under the European Commission funded Brahmatwinn project
earlier did not focus much on Brahmaputra within the state. “Brahmatwinn focused its study on the upper reaches of Brahmaputra. Brahmaputra within the state is a massive network system of about 50 major tributaries and about 126 sub-tributaries. For dealing with the erosion problem and reclamation of eroded land we have to have a comprehensive study on Brahmaputra within the state. That is why we are going to carry out a fresh study on Brahmaputra,” a senior official said.