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Call for caution in dredging Brahmaputra

By AJIT PATOWARY
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GUWAHATI, June 9 - State�s leading anthropologist Prof AC Bhagaboti and leading geographer Abani Bhagaboti are of the opinion that the proposal for dredging the Brahmaputra should be taken up with great caution. For, they reasoned the Brahmaputra is a very complex river system connected with a very complex biodiversity network.

Prof Bhagaboti, who is also former Vice Chancellor of Rajiv Gandhi University, is of the opinion that the proposed move to dredge the Brahmaputra should not be equated with the job of cleaning a tank. The Brahmaputra is a very complex natural river system. Technology has the power, but it cannot be everything, maintained Prof Bhagaboti.

Prof Abani Bhagaboti of Gauhati University maintains that a river is a network of tributaries, sub-tributaries, distributaries and the wetlands that exist within its basin. If viewed from the ecological point of view, a river system not only includes the water bodies within its basin, but also the groundwater, natural vegetation and other life forms available within the basin environment.

It also involves surface structure, that is soil and

other geological features and surface slopes within the basin area.

A scientific understanding of a river system, therefore, calls for an integrated study of all these ecological components. Moreover, anthropogenic activities also play a significant role in the functioning of a river system.

The relation between a river and its floodplains is comparable with that of a mother and a child. This relation between the river and its floodplains must be taken into consideration while introducing any scheme involving a river.

It is, therefore, mandatory that any measure to deal with a river calls for a thorough understanding of these interacting elements that operate within a basin environment.

The proposed dredging of the main stream of the Brahmaputra system and the related flood plain management needs not only river engineering measures but also ecological considerations to make the river system environmentally sustainable. Hence the proposed scheme to dredge the Brahmaputra demands a thorough investigation of the Brahmaputra system from technological, ecological, historical, cultural and environmental economics perspectives, said the noted geographer.

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Call for caution in dredging Brahmaputra

GUWAHATI, June 9 - State�s leading anthropologist Prof AC Bhagaboti and leading geographer Abani Bhagaboti are of the opinion that the proposal for dredging the Brahmaputra should be taken up with great caution. For, they reasoned the Brahmaputra is a very complex river system connected with a very complex biodiversity network.

Prof Bhagaboti, who is also former Vice Chancellor of Rajiv Gandhi University, is of the opinion that the proposed move to dredge the Brahmaputra should not be equated with the job of cleaning a tank. The Brahmaputra is a very complex natural river system. Technology has the power, but it cannot be everything, maintained Prof Bhagaboti.

Prof Abani Bhagaboti of Gauhati University maintains that a river is a network of tributaries, sub-tributaries, distributaries and the wetlands that exist within its basin. If viewed from the ecological point of view, a river system not only includes the water bodies within its basin, but also the groundwater, natural vegetation and other life forms available within the basin environment.

It also involves surface structure, that is soil and

other geological features and surface slopes within the basin area.

A scientific understanding of a river system, therefore, calls for an integrated study of all these ecological components. Moreover, anthropogenic activities also play a significant role in the functioning of a river system.

The relation between a river and its floodplains is comparable with that of a mother and a child. This relation between the river and its floodplains must be taken into consideration while introducing any scheme involving a river.

It is, therefore, mandatory that any measure to deal with a river calls for a thorough understanding of these interacting elements that operate within a basin environment.

The proposed dredging of the main stream of the Brahmaputra system and the related flood plain management needs not only river engineering measures but also ecological considerations to make the river system environmentally sustainable. Hence the proposed scheme to dredge the Brahmaputra demands a thorough investigation of the Brahmaputra system from technological, ecological, historical, cultural and environmental economics perspectives, said the noted geographer.