GUWAHATI, Sept 11 - Participants at an open discussion on the opportunities and concerns over dredging the Brahmaputra organised by city-based voluntary organisation Benediction Society yesterday in the IST conference hall of the Gauhati University, urged the government not to take up operations to dredge the Brahmaputra bed without carrying out a thorough and proper study on the geology, seismology and the environmental condition of Assam.
They also urged the government to make public the details of its plan prepared for carrying out the dredging operations in the Brahmaputra bed, said a press release here today.
The resource persons in the discussion were renowned Brahmaputra experts Prof Dulal Goswami and Prof JN Sarma; IIT Guwahati�s Prof Chandan Mahanta; Geological Survey of India�s Dr Arup Kumar Bora; CEO of Purbashi Oil and Gas Ltd PK Dutta and dredging expert Pranabendu Barman, among others.
Senior journalist Prakash Mahanta, SP Deka and Tilok Mohon of the voluntary organisation Brahmaputra Development and Management; representatives of the riverine people from Mangaldoi, Barpeta and Gohpur; students of Gauhati University and Assam Engineering College, among others, also took part in the event.
It needs mention here that the Government of Assam has decided to dredge the bed of the mighty Brahmaputra for the purpose of maintaining its navigation channel and to find a permanent solution to the perennial problem of flood. It has also decided to build two express highways on both banks of the Brahmaputra using the sediment excavated from the Brahmaputra bed, with support from the Union Ministry of Surface Communication.
Moreover, the Central government has sanctioned Rs 100 crore to conduct a study on the rivers of the NE region with an aim at finding a lasting solution to the problem of flood in this part of the country. The open discussion was organised in keeping with all these developments.
The resource persons and guests expressed serious doubts over the feasibility of the dredging project and its benefits for the people of Assam.
After a detailed discussion on various aspects related with the matter, the participants came to the conclusion that dredging the Brahmaputra bed is fraught with dangerous consequences as far as the ecosystem of the river and Assam as a whole is concerned, since the present level of knowledge and understanding of the Brahmaputra is strikingly poor.