Assam receives river water from states like Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya. Bank erosion caused by the river Brahmaputra is also another major reason behind severe flooding. It causes water to overflow in the low-lying areas. Beside this, the key reason for annual flood in the state of Assam is the high percentage of flood prone region. According to the Rashtriya Barh Ayog (RBA) 31.05 lack hectares of the total 78.523 lack hectares area of the state is prone to frequent floods. The reason behind this high flood prone area percentage is both man-made and natural. Apart from this, Assam and some other parts of the northeastern region are prone to frequent earthquakes which cause landslides. The landslides and earthquakes send a lot of debris in the rivers, causing the river bed to rise. Land erosion in Assam continues to be an area of concern which is estimated annually nearly 8000 hectares of land is lost to erosion. Bank erosion has also affected the width of the Brahmaputra River which has increased upto 15 km. The cost of damage due to bank erosion is estimated to be of several hundred crore every year. This year, the damage was extensive which has been reported in our cover story.
There is no doubt that we need a long term policy to control flood and divert it to the advantage of the community. A project was sanctioned during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first visit called Brahmaputra Dredging. The progress seems to be not worth praising. Prior to this, a Brahmaputra Board was also formed and that too has failed to come out with a long measure to curb. Not only human beings, agriculture, but also animal life is lost. Kaziranga National Park too is affected due to floods. It is an irony, that one side people are suffering with more water, whereas on the other side without water. There is a need to accord priority on the issue.