GUWAHATI, March 28 - While lauding the initiative of the State Government for taking up measures to revive the glory of the mighty Brahmaputra and the project to create a express highway on both banks of the river, engineer JN Khataniar today asked Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal to address the excavation and desiltation-related concerns of the people simultaneously while planning the mega project.
Stressing that managing a river like the Brahmaputra by excavating and desilting will be a much challenging job keeping in mind the geography, geology, environmental issues and river technologies, Khataniar said that massive silt disposition, a continuous natural process related to the Brahmaputra, is still a big hurdle in the 360-degree success of the ambitious project.
It may be noted that the Chief Minister has announced construction of an approximately 900 km-long express highway on both banks of the river from Sadiya in the east to Dhubri in the west, which is supposed to arrest the river bank erosion as well.
“Without concentrating on the process of the scientific management of massive silt generation and silt deposition of the Brahmaputra of 2,900 km length, originating in China and flowing through India and Bangladesh to the Bay of Bengal, we have always concentrated on flood control problems and erosion management for which real problems could not be targeted. These issues need to be carefully considered for this prestigious project,” he said.
“The utilities of a four-lane express highway by the side of both banks of the river, right from Sadiya to Dhubri as proposed, should be need-based, as the starting point of both the roads will be from Sadiya in the extreme boundary of our country next to China. Moreover, suitability of using silt only in the express highway construction project is also a matter of concern from the engineering point of view,” he stressed, adding that continuous accumulation of silt would eventually make it difficult for managing the growing silt year after year.
“I want to bring to the notice of the Chief Minister some of the aspects that need a relook in the project and also express concern over flood and erosion not getting the recognition as a national problem,” Khataniar told The Assam Tribune.
“We should not forget the presence of Majuli, the biggest river island of the world located within the Brahmaputra, which is receding day by day due to massive loss of land mass caused by uncontrolled erosion, as a result of total mismanagement in adopting proper scientific approaches till date,” he further added.