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Experts for central regional database

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, May 11 � Experts taking part in a day-long workshop on the disaster scenario of the North East with special reference to floods and earthquakes, were for a central regional database for developing an early warning system. The workshop was organized by the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) in collaboration with the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

The issue of climate change also featured in the workshop in a big manner. Changes in the climate system are going to upset the existing flood control and anti-erosion measures and thus new approaches are needed to resolve these problems, observed the participants.

The participants included NDMA vice chairman M Shashidhar Reddy, NDMA member T Nanda Kumar, State's Principal Secretary, Revenue and Disaster Management VK Pipersania, North Eastern Council (NEC) member PP Srivastav, CEO, ASDMA Atul Chaturvedi, director of the NESAC Dr Sudhakar Rao and Professor Arup Sarma of the Guwahati IIT, Civil Engineering Department, among others.

Some of the participants, like PP Srivastav, resented the failure of the Central Water Commission (CWC) to supply the data related to flow of the rivers of Bhutan origin.

However, Srivastav heaped praise on the North Eastern Space Application Centre (NESAC) and the North Eastern Institute of Science and Technology (NEIST) for the works they have done in the fields of floods and earthquakes.

Making his presentation on the genesis of flood in the NE region and the approach to be adopted for mitigation of the problem, Prof Arup Kumar Sarma of the Guwahati IIT said that rise in the number of population is enhancing the use of groundwater and thus adding to the flow of surface water.

Besides, development activities in the hilly areas are aggravating the problem of silt deposits on the beds of the rivers, which have been activating the side channels of the rivers. The growing urbanization in the region is also causing the elimination of the low lying areas and the waterbodies.

On top of all these, it is feared that by 2050, rainfall activities may go up in the region by 20 per cent and this is feared to cause a rise in the flow of the region's rivers by 27 per cent, he said.

The approach towards floods hence needs to be changed - rather than flood control, the approach should be of managing the flood-related risks, he said. For the purpose, he said, housing patterns should be changed and the tradition of building the houses on stilts of some of the ethnic groups should be emulated, among others.

Steps are also needed to be taken to prevent embankment failure and constriction of the river width for construction of bridges, he said.

NESAC director Dr Sudhakar Rao and ISRO's Dr Bhanumati also made presentations in the first business session dedicated to the resolution of the problem of floods, while Professor Jayanta Pathak of the Assam Engineering College made a presentation on the road map for earthquake risk mitigation for the entire North Eastern region.

A guideline for management of urban floods was also released at the workshop. A road map for earthquake risk mitigation for the NE region was also presented in the workshop with special emphasis on prioritizing the actionable points.

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Experts for central regional database

GUWAHATI, May 11 � Experts taking part in a day-long workshop on the disaster scenario of the North East with special reference to floods and earthquakes, were for a central regional database for developing an early warning system. The workshop was organized by the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) in collaboration with the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

The issue of climate change also featured in the workshop in a big manner. Changes in the climate system are going to upset the existing flood control and anti-erosion measures and thus new approaches are needed to resolve these problems, observed the participants.

The participants included NDMA vice chairman M Shashidhar Reddy, NDMA member T Nanda Kumar, State's Principal Secretary, Revenue and Disaster Management VK Pipersania, North Eastern Council (NEC) member PP Srivastav, CEO, ASDMA Atul Chaturvedi, director of the NESAC Dr Sudhakar Rao and Professor Arup Sarma of the Guwahati IIT, Civil Engineering Department, among others.

Some of the participants, like PP Srivastav, resented the failure of the Central Water Commission (CWC) to supply the data related to flow of the rivers of Bhutan origin.

However, Srivastav heaped praise on the North Eastern Space Application Centre (NESAC) and the North Eastern Institute of Science and Technology (NEIST) for the works they have done in the fields of floods and earthquakes.

Making his presentation on the genesis of flood in the NE region and the approach to be adopted for mitigation of the problem, Prof Arup Kumar Sarma of the Guwahati IIT said that rise in the number of population is enhancing the use of groundwater and thus adding to the flow of surface water.

Besides, development activities in the hilly areas are aggravating the problem of silt deposits on the beds of the rivers, which have been activating the side channels of the rivers. The growing urbanization in the region is also causing the elimination of the low lying areas and the waterbodies.

On top of all these, it is feared that by 2050, rainfall activities may go up in the region by 20 per cent and this is feared to cause a rise in the flow of the region's rivers by 27 per cent, he said.

The approach towards floods hence needs to be changed - rather than flood control, the approach should be of managing the flood-related risks, he said. For the purpose, he said, housing patterns should be changed and the tradition of building the houses on stilts of some of the ethnic groups should be emulated, among others.

Steps are also needed to be taken to prevent embankment failure and constriction of the river width for construction of bridges, he said.

NESAC director Dr Sudhakar Rao and ISRO's Dr Bhanumati also made presentations in the first business session dedicated to the resolution of the problem of floods, while Professor Jayanta Pathak of the Assam Engineering College made a presentation on the road map for earthquake risk mitigation for the entire North Eastern region.

A guideline for management of urban floods was also released at the workshop. A road map for earthquake risk mitigation for the NE region was also presented in the workshop with special emphasis on prioritizing the actionable points.