If Dams In Arunachal Pradesh Worsening Assam’s Flood Crisis?

 

  • NET Web Desk

Annual floods caused by Himalayan river systems play a significant role in the global hydrological cycle. Consider the Assam floods, which occur due to the peculiar fluvial topography.

This phenomenon demonstrates how heavily the northeastern state relies on growing Brahmaputra floods to transfer sediments and other vital nutrients into its floodplains, ultimately improving soil fertility.

But, structural interventions such as dam projects and embankments have sprung up over time to satisfy short-term economic goals while ignoring long-term ecological concerns.

These structural modifications raised river beds, hindered the width of the flow regime during high monsoons, and led to rising water levels of both the Brahmaputra and its tributaries, all with reductionist engineering goals of “training the river” without comprehending the route and flow regimes.

According to ‘Observer Research Foundation (ORF)‘ report, the multipurpose projects of Arunachal Pradesh are considered to be one of the major factors contributing to Assam flood disasters.

In 2021, the overflowing Subansiri River broke over the dam’s guard walls and submerged the Subansiri Lower Hydroelectric Project (SLHEP)’s powerhouse. The collapse of the guard wall raised fears of flooding among downstream settlements and sparked protests in the Assam districts of Dhemaji, Biswanath, and Lakhimpur, which are known to share borders with Arunachal Pradesh.

In addition to monsoon rains, the unexpected release of surplus water from the Ranganadi dam last year caused severe flooding in downstream areas of Assam, such as – Lakhimpur district.