GUWAHATI, March 4 - Prof Abani Bhagabati today stressed the need for a thorough understanding of the Brahmaputra river system with all its peculiarities and also the fact that the river had been intrinsically linked to the lives and livelihoods of the millions living in the Brahmaputra Valley before pursuing any methods aimed at controlling the huge river artificially.
Addressing a round table titled �Coexistence with floods: An alternative line of thinking� organised under the aegis of the Banikanta Kakati Research Centre of Krishna Kanta Handiqui State Open University (KKHSOU) and held at the KKHSOU campus, Prof Bhagabati said that the Brahmaputra defied a common definition and it was being perceived from diverse perspectives, including those of engineers, bureaucrats, politicians and cultured people.
�This is hampering a realistic assessment and understanding of the Brahmaputra and the entire river system it supports and is part of. On the other hand, a comprehensive understanding of the Brahmaputra must precede the interventions aimed at managing the river, especially the problems of flood and erosion,� he said.
Prof Bhagabati added that while pursuing the interventions for managing the river, all concerned must be on the guard against the pitfalls that could befall the unique natural ingredients, landscapes and cultural assets shaped and sustained by the Brahmaputra throughout the centuries.
Dr Arup Kumar Sarma of IIT Guwahati gave an account of the problems of devastating floods and unabated erosion caused by the Brahmaputra. He also elaborated on the scientific methods adopted by IIT Guwahati including the pilot projects for tackling erosion.
He also referred to the strategies adopted by the neighbouring country of Bangladesh to tide over the similar crisis posed by the river.
Prof Sarma mentioned that IIT Guwahati had already submitted a detailed report prepared in association with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for addressing the problem of erosion caused by the Brahmaputra river.
Earlier, initiating the discussion, KKHSOU Vice Chancellor Dr Hitesh Deka said that the menace of flood and erosion was worsening every passing year and it called for a scientific brainstorming for evolving a holistic strategy with due thrust on the environmental and ecological aspects.
Prof Abu Naser Sayed Ahmed said that the issue warranted a scientific assessment of all the matters involved and universities should come forward to help find a solution.