Brahmaputra River Current Affairs

Government launches scheme for protection of Majuli Island in Assam

The Union Government has launched new scheme for protection of Majuli Island in Assam from flood and erosion. The scheme was sanctioned by Government in March, 2017 and funding for it will be from Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER).

The scheme has been framed by Brahmaputra Board based on recommendations of the high level Expert Committee of Central Government that visits the world’s largest riverine island at least twice a year to monitor and recommend anti-erosion measures.

The major components of the scheme include

  • Bank revetment with geo bags filled with earth/sand for a reach length of 27 km in 14 locations
  • RCC porcupine works in 41 locations
  • Construction of a sluice and
  • Construction of a Pilot channel of length of 3.50 km.

Majuli Island

Majuli Island is largest river island in world and first island district of the country. It is formed by Brahmaputra River in south and Kherkutia Xuti, another branch of Brahmaputra, joined by Subansiri River in north. The area of Majuli island recordere in 1914 was aroung 734 sq km and in 2004, it was recorded to be 502 sq km.

Geomorphologically, the entire Majuli island is part of alluvial flood plains of the Brahmaputra river. It is formed of soil consisting mainly of silt deposits which is without cohesion and susceptible to erosion. The problem of erosion was exacerbated after 1950 disastrous earthquake and has become severe environment issue as it remains mostly uncontained.

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Floating B4 boat labs to study the Brahmaputra River

The Union Government is planning to safeguard fast-eroding Majuli island — world’s largest riverine island using research carried out on floating Brahmaputra Biodiversity and Biology Boat (B4) labs along Brahmaputra River.

The purpose of project is to study changes caused by dams, climate change, human interventions and eventual effects on river eco-system. It will constantly monitor impact of various environmental and anthropological factors that affect river and conduct research to mitigate effects.

The project’s interdisciplinary work plan is developed with IIT Guwahati as the nodal agency. It will also study freshwater resources of North East India. The integrated approach is aimed to combine data, science and judgement that can impact policy. It will start research work by December 2017. Initially, it will cover region from Pasighat, Dibrigargh, Neemati, Tejpur and Guwahati in Assam.

Brahmaputra Biodiversity and Biology Boat (B4) labs

B4 boat labs will be large barge (or boat) which will be set up on river. It will be well-equipped laboratory with cold storage facilities for holding samples, along with multiple satellite boats or rafts that will venture into shallower and narrower parts of the river to lift samples. The boat will have permanent lab spread over two floors. One floor will be dedicated to scientists, while other floor will be accessible to residents of area to learn about the eco-system.

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