Monday, 30th October 2017

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Flood of tips to avert rain woes

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  • Published 21.02.08

Feb. 20: If a flood of recommendations can save a town from the scourge of floods, Silchar can hope to remain on dry ground this monsoon.

The Centre and an NGO have formed separate committees to pinpoint the causes of the annual hazard and find remedies, giving residents of not only Silchar but also the rest of south Assam a sniff of a monsoon minus floods.

While the Centre has set up a task force to find a permanent remedy to the problem, the Institution of Engineers, Silchar, has already compiled a comprehensive report identifying the causes of floods in the three Barak Valley districts, particularly Silchar.

Silchar last year experienced its worst flooding in recent times, which was not surprising considering the fact that it received as much as 3,215mm of rain.

The town remained under water for over two weeks with the Rukni and Sonai rivers — both tributaries of the Barak — and the Ghagra breaching their banks.

A committee comprising three retired chief engineers of the water resources department — S.R. Swami, B.K. Das and N.R. Chakravarty — compiled a 13-page report for the NGO.

The committee stressed the need to construct the multipurpose Barak dam at Tipaimukh on the Manipur-Assam border as soon as possible to save the three Barak Valley districts from the annual deluge.

The committee suggested building storage reservoirs in the upper reaches of the Sonai and Rukni to protect Silchar.

It also recommended dredging of the Barak and renovation of sluice gates.

The other recommendations include a study on the morphology of the Barak and the construction of barrage-type structures over the Ghagra to prevent the backflow of water into the town’s western lowlands, which houses a large number of people.

The NGO suggested the implementation of proper anti-erosion measures along the flood-prone and thickly populated Tarapur Shivbari, Madhurband and Berenga areas of the town and overhauling the 738-km network of embankments in the Barak Valley districts.

The task force formed by the Centre is the 15th for the state. A Scottish engineer, F.O. Lachumiere, headed the first such committee in 1916.

The Scotsman was then the chief engineer of the public works department.