Failure of flood management and flood protection structures, deforestation/watershed degradation, and encroachment of riverine areas were among the major reasons as recognised by the government for the annual floods in Assam, the Parliament was informed on Monday.
Among the other reasons for the annual flooding in Assam were high intensity rainfall in short duration, poor or inadequate drainage/channel capacity and high silt load, steep slope and transverse gradient lead to erosion and deportation of silt in the plains resulting in changing the course of rivers, Minister of State for Jal Shakti, Bishweswar Tudu told the Rajya Sabha.
To a question whether the government has assessed the impact of annual riverbank erosion caused by flooding of the Brahmaputra in Assam, he said that during the post-Independence period, Assam faced major floods in 1954, 1962, 1972, 1977, 1984, 1988, 1998, 2002, and 2004. Quoting the state Water Resources Department (WRD), he said: “The severity of the flood problem of the state has been further aggravated by erosion on both banks of river Brahmaputra and its tributaries.”
To a question by Rajmani Patel, Tudu said that Assam’s WRD has been implementing flood protection schemes under Flood Management Programme, NABARD-RIDF and others components from time to time to mitigate the perennial problem of floods in the state.
Under the Centrally Sponsored FMP, a total of 141 projects costing Rs 2,383.11 crore were approved during the XI Plan and XII Plan. Since the start of the XI Plan, total central assistance of Rs 1,286.39 crore has been released till date to Assam.
In addition, the Brahmaputra Board is also implementing Anti-erosion measures at Dhola Hatighuli in Tinsukia district, Majuli Island in Majuli district and Mankachar-Kalair Alga in South Salmara-Mankachar district of Assam, the Minister said, adding, proposals for addressing flood/erosion prone areas/reaches, as per priorities of the state government, are received by the Central Water Commission from time to time.