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Assam’s Innovative Approach: Integrating Wetlands with Brahmaputra River to Tackle Monsoon Flooding

In a groundbreaking move, the Assam state government, as part of its budget for the fiscal year 2024–25, has allocated Rs. 200 crore for a transformative shift in flood management. Finance Minister Ajanta Neog unveiled plans to address the perennial issue of artificial flooding during the monsoon season by adopting innovative strategies. The focus will shift from traditional embankments to a holistic approach integrating wetlands with the Brahmaputra River for effective floodwater diversion.

A survey conducted by the North-East Space Application Center (NESAC) identified 271 wetlands/lakes larger than 10 hectares suitable for floodwater diversions. In the initial phase, selected large wetlands will undergo rejuvenation and restoration, creating an additional storage capacity of 220 lakh cubic meters for water storage. The initiative aims to reduce flood peaks in certain rivers by 20 percent to 80 percent, as indicated by NESAC’s hydrological analysis.

Finance Minister Neog emphasized the multifaceted benefits of the project, anticipating a boost in tourism, the revival of groundwater aquifers, and the restoration of fragile aquatic ecosystems. This integrated approach is expected to sustainably support the livelihoods of local communities dependent on these ecosystem services.

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