Skip to content Skip to navigation

Save wetlands

Wetlands in Assam have been carrying out a great role minimising intensity of flood in Brahmaputra valley. Better conservation of wetlands in the state may be the most effective way to control flood and erosion problems. Because wetlands store a large amount of excess water during flood.

Most of wetlands in the state have become shallow due to turbidity, silt and sediment deposition. As they are becoming shallow the capacity of flood water storage also decreasing. So if these wetlands can be dredged and make deeper these will have more capacity to store more amount of flood water.

According to Dr. B P Duarah, a Geologist and professor and Department of Geology, Gauhati University, said that dredging Brahmaputra must be holistic plan. Experts from different fields even humanities must be included in the planning. "Otherwise a little error may bring massive danger which can't be controlled easily", Dr. Duarah said. He emphasises conservation and management of wetlands and tributaries of Brahmaputra as they will hold huge amount of silt as deposition. So dredging can never be a sole solution of flood and erosion. Moreover silt extracted from riverbed of the Brahmaputra must be mixed with clay before it is used to construct road or highway. The silt of Brahmaputra and tributaries of north bank have less component of clay which is necessary as adhesive.


On the other hand Dr. D C Goswami, the former Head of Department of Environmental Science, Gauhati University, hopes dredging Brahmaputra will open new way of development and experiments. He said dredging would help water transportation in Assam which was active during the reign of British rule. British used small ships to carry goods to and from Assam. If Assam uses water transport to carry good it will reduce traffic-jam. It will reduce the impact on environment too.

It is very unfortunate that Assam has not used one percent of water carrying by the Brahmaputra, laments Dr. Goswami. He cautions the destruction of forest and wetland will bring danger to the Brahmaputra as well as to the valley. Of course he too urges government to emphasise conservation of wetland with good scientific management. It is to be noted, there are 690 lakes and ponds recorded in Assam. These lakes and ponds cover an area of 15494.00 ha which constitutes 0.20 percent of the total geographical area of the state and 15.30 percent of the total area under wetlands. The smallest of them measures 2.50 ha while the largest one has 882.50 ha of areal coverage.

Deepor Beel, one of the largest wetlands in Assam is one of the sad examples of how a fresh water reservoir and rich ecosystem is being destroyed by chaotic urbanization. Situated by the Guwahati city, the capital of the state of Assam is losing its rich natural resources due to a lack of foresightedness and proper planning by policy makers. Encroachment, establishment of industries, factories, brick kilns, railway sound pollution and garbage dumping is destroying the rich ecosystem and biodiversity of wetlands in Assam. Deepor Beel wetland is home to hundreds of species of birds, fish, zooplankton and phytoplankton. It has also been declared a bird sanctuary, and is a part of the Asian Wetland Directory, and was also declared a Ramsar Site in 2002. Some NGOs, politicians, and bureaucrats also have acquired land of this wetland illegally.

Author info

Chandan Kumar Duarah's picture

The writer is a former Robert Bosch Fellow, an environmentalist and Guwahati based journalist.

Add new comment


Republish this content

Indian Society moves ahead: Charge of the single brigade

9 Aug 2007 - 4:33am | Rituparna Goswami Pande

The world is slowly making way for a brigade of young women who remain single by choice. Many such young single women are emerging in our society who have broken the shackles of tradition and asserted their independence. Our society which earlier frowned upon the concept of single woman, terming them old maids and the like, have today gradually but significantly started accepting these free spirited souls who defy the tag of being married and also hate to tag along their better halves as second fiddle. Single mothers, live-in relationships and single working women living a carefree life are no longer a taboo as today many urban women prefer to live alone without being tied up by the bonds or rather bondage of the paraphernalia that comes with the institution of marriage.

Traditionally, a girl after attaining a certain age is expected and in many cases in Indian societies forced to tie the knot, procreate, look after home affairs in short bask in marital bliss or blunder whichever comes first but in the present times more and more women armed with a higher education and earning a fat paycheck prefer singledom; living alone appears far more attractive than a life of boundaries. Therefore, the idea of giving it all up to be chained to a husband and household becomes a huge dilemma.

Financial independence lends an extra boost towards such a decision added with the advantage of not being bound by any restrictive elements; singledom undoubtedly gets the thumbs up.

Women today are defying age old norms. Some may term it as aping the west but though the west has paved the way, ultimately the choices are purely individualistic. Support may not come easily for such ‘rebellious’ decisions but later it comes in abundance. Such a lifestyle is not confined to Metros alone as there are many such free spirits in small towns as well.
Financial security and independence has a very important role in these women’s decision and of course education for without these one can’t think of leading a life of singledom.

In today’s high stressed lives many women have broken barriers of convention and set fine examples but these decisions are solely personal for they do nor denounce the institution of marriage but simply hold a flame which says marriage is not the end all of life and that one can choose happiness in whatever form they desire

Assam RS bye polls on Dec 22

29 Nov 2011 - 2:16am | editor

Assam is all set to go to the Rajya Sabha by-polls for the lone seat on December 22. The election commission announced the poll schedule on Monday. The bye-election has been necessitated due to the death of Silvius Condpan from Congress. The tenure of the Rajya Sabha seat in Assam in till April 2 in, 2016. Notification for the bye-elections would be issued on December 5. The last date of filing of nomination is December 12. The nominations would be scrutinised the next day. The last date for withdrawal of candidature is December 15 and polling would be held on December 22. The results would be announced the same day.

Brajanath Sarma memorial drama festival starts

12 Sep 2009 - 7:44am | trishnalineog

The 3rd Annual Brajanath Sarma Memorial drama festival organised by Smahar has been started from September 11 at Rabindra Bhawan, Guwahati which will run till September 15. Reknowned playwright Arun Sharma inaugurated the event. Classical dancer Gorima Hazorika inaugurated a souvenir ‘Kohinoor’ on the occasion. In the first day, the ‘Nay tam’ group of Puronigudam, Nagaon performed their play ‘Sunamua Gaon’ directed by Anjan Bhuyan and written by Bishnuprasad Rabha. ‘Puboronga’ drama group of Guwahati will perform their drama ‘Birangona’ on the 12th , Samahar will present ‘30th October’ on 13th , ‘Silchar Cultural Unit’ will perform ‘Monosha Kotha’, ‘Kutubpur Gombhira Group’ of Maldoh will perform ‘Gombhira Lukonayto’ 14th and ‘Abinaswar’ of Nagaon will staged their play named ‘Bishnuprasad’ on 15th. It is heartening to note that Samahar Natya Gosthee, the organizing theater society of the drama festival is completing, this year, 25 years of its existence.