Flood in Assam and Big Dams in North East India

Recent report says that at least 3.3lacs people in Assam’s flood prone districts Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Sonitpur and other districts Jorhat, Barpeta have been displaced or rendered homeless by flood. These floods were mainly caused by incessant rains in Arunachal Pradesh hills as well as in the plains of Assam.

But it is not only rain which causes flood in Lakhimpur District. Assam and whole of North East India rains well for centuries now and Cherapunji in Meghalaya boasts of the wettest place one earth. With this kind of free information available, Ranganadi dam was constructed to produce 405MW of power over Ranga nadi river Arunachal Pradesh known as Dikrong river in Lakhimpur district of Assam.

Now, this dam has been causing flood for many years now. It has repeatedly breached NH-52 cutting of Lakhimpur, Dhemaji districts as well as many parts of Arunachal Pradesh from rest of the country repeatedly for almost 3/4 months a year.

And now, there is a 2000MW power projects which is being constructed on river Subansiri known as LSHEP (Lower Subansiri Hydro Electric Power Project ). Subansiri is the largest tributary to river Brahmaputra which supplies alost 10% of its water annually. This river was blocked in 1950 after a earth quake on the night of 15th August. The artificial dam was broken on 22-23 August night which resulted in flash flood water 10 feet high. It resulted in many deaths and loss of properties and changed the course of Subansiri river.

Arunachal Pradesh Dams

With history of such heavy rain, flood year after year, it is reported that 168 dams ( big and small) are likely to be constructed in Arunachal Pradesh to generate 55000MW power. Apart from heavy rain and flood, it my also be mentioned that, whole North East India is under seismic zone V, which means it witness many earth quakes in a year and which has a highest probability earth quakes in the world. Other areas which fall in Seismic Zone V includes Japan, a country which comes in news for earth quacks.

While power is essential for modern day living, but building 168 dams in areas like Arunachal Pradesh which falls under Seismic Zone 5, witness heavy rain yearly, floods yearly in its down streams Assam is surely worrisome. These dams have potential to wreck havoc in every rainy season and people living in downstream would be living in constant fear! Add that fear to the fear of insurgency, AFSPA ( Armed Forces Special Power Act), the people of Assam and North East India might have to live in constant fear whole period of its lifespan!

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