New Delhi, May 6: The central water and power research station in Pune is conducting a study to prepare a comprehensive flood management plan for the Brahmaputra.
Sources here said the DoNER ministry proposed the comprehensive project to find a lasting solution to the flood problem, especially in Assam.
The government’s current Rs 8,000-crore flood management programme was launched under the central plan during the 11th Plan period (2007-2012). It had already approved the scheme on November 2 last year, with Rs 225 crore allotted for flood control projects in the Brahma-putra Valley states.
Though Arunachal Pradesh will also benefit from the scheme, Assam is most affected by floods in the Brahmaputra. Just as pollution in the Ganga necessitated the Ganga Action Plan, flood control on the Brahmaputra also needs a comprehensive plan.
“The DoNER ministry has proposed it and the Pune-based institute has undertaken a study,” said water resources secretary Umesh Narayan Panjiar.
Sources said the institute would prepare a mathematical model to manage the Brahmaputra Valley in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. The director of the research station at Khadakvasla, V.M.Bendre, heads the team of scientists at the station.
DoNER minister Mani Shankar Aiyar decided upon the study after a marathon meeting with officials of the shipping and water resources ministries earlier this year.
Upper Assam MP and member of the parliamentary committee on water resources Arun Sarma said a study is essential to learn about the nature of the river and siltation.
There is also the risk of the Tsangpo as the Brahmaputra is called in Tibet, being diverted by Chinese authorities towards northwest China.
The mathematical model will be based on comprehensive data of the river including mapping through remote sensing, Sarma said. Erosion is also a major challenge that has threatened the survival of the world’s largest river island, Majuli. Majuli is fast losing its land mass because of erosion.
Panjiar said immediate measures are being taken up to control erosion.
For now, central assistance is provided under the flood management programme to states only for taking up works in critical areas like flood control schemes and anti-erosion works or drainage development works and flood proofing works on the embankments.
However, the proposals are seen more in the ambit of being “schemes” and not comprehensive projects of managing the river.