Kerala flood lesson for Assam: experts

Kerala flood lesson for Assam: experts


  1. ‘Flood-experienced’ Assam can learn a lesson from the Kerala deluge to avoid large-scale disaster, say water resources and ecology experts in the Northeast.

Important facts:

2. Similarity between two floods:

  • The most worrying similarity is a network of dams in the “control of other States” surrounding Kerala and Assam.
  • Assam is having Kerala-like floods albeit on a smaller scale because of hydropower projects in neighbouring States and in adjoining Bhutan.
  • A majority of dams that affected Kerala are on inter-State rivers and under the control of neighbouring States such as Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
  • The decision of how much water and when to be released is not within the purview of Kerala, which is suffering from downstream impact of those dams and the situation is similar for Assam.
  • More dams coming up in other northeastern States and in Bhutan could spell doom for Assam.

3. Assam has been rain-deficient by 30% this year, but Golaghat district experienced flash flood due to the release of excess water by the Doyang dam in Nagaland.

4. Similar was the case in Assam’s Lakhimpur district last year, because of the Ranganadi dam in Arunachal Pradesh while the Kurichu dam in Bhutan has often caused flooding in western Assam.

5. Arunachal Pradesh too is wary of the impact of big dams. “The river Siang has suffered from dams and other constructions in China upstream.

6. Kerala is reaping the consequences of neglecting, like other Western Ghats States, the recommendations of the Gadgil and Kasturirangan panels against hydro-power projects in ecologically sensitive zones.

7. According to Experts, micro-climate controlled by land use was the primary reason behind the catastrophe in Kerala though Climate Change was the overriding factor.

8. Rainfall in Kerala has been increasing after a dip in 2013, but the annual rainfall in many parts of the northeast is much higher than the southern coastal State.

9. The densely populated floodplains of Assam thus have to worry because of changes in land use that have impacted the micro-climate adversely.

10. Lessons that Assam needs to learn from Kerala:

  • The lesson that Assam needs to learn from Kerala is the effect of rampantdeforestationmining, and quarrying.
  • Kerala has allowed settlement on elephant corridor such as Thirunelli-Kadrakote and Kottiyoor-Periya, leading to felling.
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