Indian state, Assam witnesses heavy flood every year. Also, the state has fertile land for the cultivation of crops. The reason behind the flood and the fertile land is due to the flow of the great Brahmaputra River in Assam. There is a saying, “Every coin has two sides”. Similarly, the Brahmaputra River flowing in Assam has created both positive impacts and negative impacts in the region.
River Brahmaputra flows through three countries and they are Tibet region of China, the Indian states of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam, and Bangladesh. The Brahmaputra River originates from Angsi glacier in Manasarovar of China and the river meets the sea Bay of Bengal after flowing across Bangladesh. It should also be noted that the river is a left tributary of the Ganga River. The river is about 3,969 kilometers long and it is the third largest river in the world.
Why Does the Flood Occur In Assam Every Year?
Floods in Assam are the common occurrence especially during the monsoon season between June to October. The Brahmaputra floods transpire majorly as a result of monsoon rain which increases the flow of river water. This massive flow of river water procreates substantial floods in Assam. Each year many animals Kaziranga National Park are being dead because of these floods in Assam. It is reported that each approximately 65 people die due to the flood. In 2020, at least 79 people have lost their lives in Assam due to severe flooding which has been confirmed by the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) on Saturday (19th July 2020). The effects of flood in Assam can ruin the place and can cause significant damage to crops and houses, serious bank erosive, damages school and various institutions, and loss of many lives, livestock, and fisheries. Despite the flood-control measures the floods in Assam turn out to uncontrollable because of the heavy flow of water. The risks of waterborne diseases such as diarrhea and cholera are high during the times of flood in Assam. The floods in Assam becomes vigorous and out of control due to the following reasons.
Deforestation along the land region near the flowing Brahmaputra River may not help to reduce the speed of water during the times of flood. The empty land after being deforested makes the flooding water to move swiftly. Hence, deforestation is one of the reasons which makes the flooding in Assam aggressive. The deforestation has also led to the soil erosion of the fertile soils of Assam. Planting tree saplings along the riverside can help to reduce the speed of water flow during the flood. Thereby, the negative effects of the floods can be significantly reduced by afforesting the riverside areas of Assam.
The Brahmaputra River generally experiences high levels of bank erosion. Bank Erosion is the process of the wearing away of the river banks due to flooding. Assam faces extreme bank erosion around the Brahmaputra River as well as in the tributaries each year. It is claimed that around 8000 hectares of land has been lost annually in Assam due to bank erosion. Bank erosion has also increased the width of the Brahmaputra River largely. The width of the river is increased up to 15 kilometres as a result of bank erosion. Each year government is spending several hundred crores of money to fix the damage due to bank erosion.
It is quite obvious that the north-eastern region of India is prone to earthquakes frequently. These earthquakes in north-eastern region such as Assam causes severe landslides and damages. The landslides send a lot of debris into the rivers which caused the river bed to rise. Thus, the rise in the river bed causes a flood. Landslides also lead to blocking bridges and river tributaries causing floods along its flowing path. Thus, landslides are also one of the main reasons for serious floods in Assam.
How Is River Brahmaputra A Blessing to Assam?
The Brahmaputra River serves to be a lifeline of Assam. People of Assam use River Brahmaputra to meet their daily requirements such as wading of cattle, fishing, cultivation of different types of crops, irrigation, and riverine transport. People in around 22 districts of Assam avail the benefits of Brahmaputra River.
The Brahmaputra River also helps in the transportation of people and material. This easy transportation along the Brahmaputra River has increased the economy of Assam. The Inland Water Transport (IWT) services were started in the year 1958 in Assam. From then the state makes use of the Brahmaputra River abundantly for transportation purposes. Despite the improvement of roadways and railways transportation immensely, the people of Assam still depend upon riverine transport significantly for their everyday transportation. The water transport system starts every day at 8 am and end at 6.45 pm. Ports have been effectively operated at in five districts of Assam, namely, Kamrup, Barpeta, Sonitpur, Jorhat and Dibrugarh for the transportation of men, material and animals.
It is a blessing that around the nineteen most important tourist hot spots of the state are situated near the banks of river Brahmaputra. Cruise tourism has also emerged as an astonishing adventure, pleasure tourism, and feel good experience across the river in recent years. It is to be noted that CNN International in 2013 has acknowledged Brahmaputra cruises as one of the top ten most adventure cruises. Innovative tourism activities on river Brahmaputra has been launched in recent years. This made an increasing number of tourists visiting Assam every year. An increase in the tourist is directly proportional to the state’s economy and revenue growth. Hence, the tourist visiting Assam never fails to mark their presence in the great Brahmaputra River.
Ferry service has now become very essential to the people of Assam. A ferry is a merchant vessel that can carry passengers, sometimes vehicles and cargo, across any water body. It is delighted to know that the operation of ferry services across Brahmaputra River has given has significantly raised the creation of employment to the people of Assam. Through ferry service, it is even possible to transport the huge vehicles like car and van. The Ferry Service in Assam is controlled and managed by the Inland Water Transport (IWT) to ensure the safe journey of the passengers and effective cargo transportation through the Brahmaputra River.
The agricultural sector of Assam has tremendously grown over the years. This growth and potential of the agricultural sector of Assam are mainly because of the existence of the Brahmaputra River. The soil in the Assam is always fertile and ready to be cultivated. The river keeps the land fertile which in turn increases the crop productivity. Thus, the river largely helps in agriculture by maintaining the soil fertile as well as the river water is a source of irrigation. Fishing across the river is also business. It is evident that the Brahmaputra River is a pillar of Assam’s economic growth. Some reaches and studies have clearly proved Assam is one of the top five most favourable states in India for producing varieties of crops. The credits for the success in Assam’s agricultural sector goes to the massive Brahmaputra River without a doubt.
It quite natural that every positive effect has a negative effect on it. Similarly, the Brahmaputra River also experience the goodness as well as the wickedness. The people of Assam have to accept both the faces of the Brahmaputra River. The river has an equal ratio of goodness and wickedness. People enjoy it when there is the success in crops due to the river’s water supply. The same people suffer when the flood occurs due to the river’s water flow. The river teaches a lesson that everything will not be the same forever. Hence, we must accept the both effects of the river and enjoy the river’s blessing with happiness.