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Call to use water jet technology instead of dredging
Staff Reporter
 GUWAHATI, Aug 12 - Majuli Island Protection and Development Council (MIPADC) general secretary Bharat Saikia, who is also a former Superintending Engineer of the State’s Water Resources Department (WRD), has proposed that instead of going for expensive methods for dredging the Brahmaputra bed, high-pressure water jet technology should be used to provide the river a single-regime channel.

Talking to this newspaper, Saikia said that he has sent a number of letters to Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on this proposal. But so far, he has not received any response from the office of the Chief Minister.

Engine boat mounted high-pressure water jets, pumping water through pointed nozzles at a 60 degree angle, will help the river current carry away the silts and a major portion of the silt thus dredged out of the river bed would settle on both sides of the new channel in a uniform manner because of the Brahmaputra’s hydraulic characteristics.

However, to ensure all these, the engine boats should ply up and down on a regular basis, Saikia maintained and expressed the hope that constantly practising this procedure round the year would be able to push the main channel of the river almost to its middle. This will minimise its bank erosion activities.

He also called for steps to create temporary detention reservoirs during peak flood season in the country sides of the embankments. This could be done by using robust plastic pipes of 0.50 metre diametre with efficient arrangement for opening and closing on both their ends. These pipes are to be placed at a distance of minimum 1 km in the embankments of the Brahmaputra and its tributaries for facilitating entry of river water in the country sides of the embankments.

When the water levels of the rivers recede, the water thus stored in these countrysides would also stream out to the respective rivers. The water thus injected to these countrysides would also carry an amount of silt. After a few flood seasons, the country sides of the embankments will get their levels raised. This process will also fertilise and clean these countrysides. This method may be helpful in areas like Majuli, Saikia claimed, adding, this will make the big storage dams almost redundant.

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