Interactive Session on Brahmaputra Dredging by DURSA

Dibrugarh University Research Scholars’ Association (DURSA) organized an Interactive Session on 'Brahmaputra Dredging: Consensus and Contention' on 20th September, 2017 here in the Indira Miri Conference Hall of Dibrugarh University with active participation of the faculty members, Research Scholars and the students. In the session, senior fluvial Geo-morphologist Professor J. N. Sarma, reknowned Ecologist Professor S.P. Biswas and eminent Geologist Dr. Devojit Bezbaruah were present as Expert Panelists who explained the current burning issue of the state and brought a visual picture of the advantages and loopholes of Brahmaputra Dredging into the limelight of the attendees. The experts explained the morphology of the Himalayan region, nature of flow of the mighty river Brahmaputra and told that clearing the silt of the river by removing the sediments will improve navigation and probably reduce the ease of flood and erosion but this project is neither economically viable nor a permanent solution of restoring the river. The Governments have the policy to make the Brahmaputra an economic corridor to the international ports such as Chittagong in Bangladesh and Haldia Port in West Bengal, boosting the trade with the south-east Asian countries. But as explained by Professor Sarma, Sediment generated by the Brahmaputra is about five times as much as in China’s Huang Ho River which is considered to be a major hurdle for dredging. He further added that before starting dredging, a proper morphological and hydrological study of the river is very much needed to explore the possibilities of successful dredging in such a huge sediment deposit. The Brahmaputra and its adjoining floodplain hold hundreds of species of macro invertebrate and avian fauna, the most fascinating of which is the endangered River Dolphin. A senior faculty member of the Department of Life Sciences put forward an optimistic outlook towards dredging to restore the previous ecosystem of the river for sustainable development of the plant and animal kingdoms. One of the eminent Geologists of Assam, Dr. Devojit Bezbaruah also briefly explained the techniques of river dredging and analyzed the probable problems that may be encountered while dredging such a huge water body. He also denied the possibility of constructing the Express Highways with the dredged sediments as the sediments of the river Brahmaputra are so sandy that will be eroded again during rain and would fill up the excavated parts of the channel. However, Professor Sarma concluded his speech saying that if the dredging has to be done, then an agreement should be signed with the concerned company that the government will pay them on the basis of the sediment they remove per day, not on simply the working day basis. In the interaction session, several research scholars as well as faculties raised many significant questions before the experts in the context of the proposed Brahmaputra Dredging and its probable consequences. The session came to an end with the conclusive remark and the Vote of Thanks by Ms. Gyanashree Bora, a Research Scholar of the Department of Chemistry.

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