GUWAHATI, Jan 11 - Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who had earlier mooted the idea of preparing a comprehensive database of all major and minor rivers of Assam along with their tributaries in the form of a river atlas, today assessed the preparation of the atlas and asked the implementing agency to bring quantity and depth of sand and sand layer in the riverbed within the ambit of the study.
Chairing a meeting here this evening to take stock of the progress made so far in preparing the first ever river atlas in the State, Sonowal said that the project should encompass depth of sand layer within the parameter of its study along with identifying sand bars above the Highest Flood Level (HFL).
He said that identification of sand bars above the HFL would help the State government’s possible bid to use the sand bars as ‘solar parks’.
It may be noted that the North Eastern Space Application Centre, Umiam, Meghalaya, which is the implementing agency for the proposed river atlas, would encompass all the districts of the State in preparing the database and the entire exercise would be completed by December this year. The river atlas would also feature the source of origin of all the major rivers and their tributaries.
Sonowal said that since the decision of preparing the river atlas has been taken with an objective of creating a deterrent against flood and erosion, the proposed atlas should exclusively address the flood and erosion management along the major rivers and their tributaries in the State. He also said that efforts should be made for the atlas to act as a hydro-meteorological observatory.
He said that, once completed, the river atlas would give the proper database of the length of the rivers and the embankment details of the entire 5,000 km network of embankment in the State. Besides, the river atlas would give readings on river flood level.
Sonowal also stressed that the study should bring within its ambit the reported deforestation which might be the reason for the reduced water flow in some rivers in the State.
He further added that if a proper database is obtained for the deforestation-induced reduced water flow in the rivers, the State government can take remedial steps for adequate afforestation, as a part of its decision of planting 10 crore saplings in the State throughout the year.