GUWAHATI, July 20 - “The menace of flood can be eliminated from Assam within two years if the authorities concerned take proper measures. But unfortunately a majority of people don’t want respite from this disaster, because every year flood feeds them in the name of government flood relief fund,” said Dr Kamal Malla Bujarbaruah, Vice Chancellor of Assam Agricultural University, while delivering a lecture on the topic ‘Mor Soponar Asom’ here today.
The lecture programme was organised by the Krishna Kanta Handiqui State Open University (KKHSOU) to commemorate the 121st birth anniversary of Sanskrit scholar, Indologist and philanthropist Krishna Kanta Handiqui.
Analysing the issue of flood, Dr Bujarbaruah said, “Increasing the water holding capacity of the Brahmaputra and its tributaries by dredging will be an effective solution to eliminate the havoc of flood from the State. It will decrease the rate of disaster by 70 per cent. Flood is caused due to a rise of the riverbed. Today technology has risen to great heights, so it is not impossible to mitigate the flood problem. Through dredging we can also develop a water highway in the Brahmaputra, which will be a good option to develop our economy.”
He asserted that despite criticism from various sections, dredging of the river is the only way to eradicate the flood problem. There is also scope to change the pattern of cultivation in the State to cope with the flood disaster and to use flood as a tourism option, he further said.
“The agriculture sector is yet to become an industry in Assam like it has happened in other parts of the world. Due to this vast tracts of our agricultural land are being continuously eaten up by industrialisation and burgeoning population,” he said.
Citing the example of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, Dr Bujarbaruah said, “Both these states went through a very tough economic condition in the past. But they were able to overcome it and become economically vibrant. For Assam it is time to search for new opportunities to develop itself. I think, as a gateway to the South Asian region, the aircraft repairing sector could be a nice option for us. It will open a new horizon to other line sectors too.”
Analysing the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats concerning the Assamese people, he said, “We need to strengthen our strengths and eliminate our weaknesses by acquiring proper education. Again, we should be prepared to use our opportunities and to overcome all threats. Herein comes the time for our policy makers to concentrate on making a robust economy.”
Dr Bujarbaruah added, “Already we have handed over about 60 per cent of the agricultural sector to Bangladeshi people along with our land. The tea sector is also dying because of economic losses. The oil sector is also going to be privatised any time and the tourism sector is yet to develop properly. But if we are to become self-sustained then all these sectors will have to develop at any cost.”