Guwahati, Wednesday, November 6, 2019
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Bharalu sluice gate closed for Pushkar festival
Staff Reporter

Photo: Samarendra Sarama
 GUWAHATI, Nov 5 - The water level of the Bharalu river may rise to some extent in the morning hours during the days of the Pushkar festival that began on the bank of the Brahmaputra today, as the district administration has closed the sluice gate at Bharalumukh point.

 However, officials in the Water Resources Department said the water level will recede towards the later half of the day.

The district administration has closed the sluice gate of the Bharalu to minimise the pollution level of the Brahmaputra during the Pushkar Festival as the devotees will take bath in the river.

Sources stated that the level of water will rise in the stretch of the Bharalu between Shantipur and Jonali.

Following closure of the sluice gate, the Water Resources Department has been diverting the Bharalu river water through the Mora Bharalu to Deepor Beel and then to the Brahmaputra at Khanamukh.

Science Society concern: Meanwhile, expressing concern at the blocking of flow of the Bharalu river water for the Brahmaputra Pushkar & Sanskritik Mohotsav 2019, the Assam Science Society has called upon the authorities to take immediate action to restore the natural flow of the water-body.

The Assam Science Society has also approached the Kamrup (Metro) district administration and the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) on the matter and submitted a memorandum.

The Science Society termed the act of stopping of flow of the river water “extremely unscientific, anti-environment and irrational”.

“This injudicious and unauthorised intervention will create many geo-environmental problems. The blockade of a perennial river at its mouth will certainly increase its water level. As the water of the Bharalu river is highly contaminated when it reaches the city, the contaminated water will start percolating into its banks due to high storage level. The unsaturated banks will quickly absorb the polluted water which will eventually cause contamination of the ground drinking water,” said Dr Joyanti Chutia, president of the Science Society.

According to the Society, the sudden rise and fall of water level on account of the blockade and its release after the festival will make the river banks susceptible to erosion.

“The riverine ecology near the confluence will be affected adversely. The rise of water level will accelerate seepage, creating problems in buildings and other infrastructural foundations. Stagnation of flowing water will definitely enhance the siltation process that leads to bed rise which will ultimately create many geo-environmental problems. The scope of mosquito breeding may increase,” said Dr Chutia.

The pollution level of the Brahmaputra will also rise as the water from the Bharalu and other drains of the city flows to it.

Dr Chutia said that the administration should take immediate action to stop the blocking of the Bharalu river at Bharalumukh.

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