Meet on water conflict

Guwahati, Dec. 11 : An expert on the Brahmaputra today said adequate regional and international co-operation is essential for management of water resources in the region.

Dulal Goswami was speaking at a two-day national workshop on Water Conflicts in the Northeast: Issues, Cases and Way Forward which began today.

Organised by Aaranyak in association with the Forum for Policy Dialogue on Water Conflicts in India, it is deliberating on issues like impact of hydro power projects, rehabilitation of flood-affected people, flood management infrastructure, proposed seismic survey, ground water contamination, trans-boundary water management, water policy, river bank erosion, gender role in water security and a a framework for resolution of water conflicts.

“Having two major international rivers, the Brahmaputra and the Barak, that flow through three most populous countries in the world -— China, India and Bangladesh — besides a host of tributaries with inter-state watershed boundaries, the management of the vast water resources of the region needs adequate regional and international co-operation and pooling of resources at the national and global level,” he said.

Speaking on Northeast India: The Geophysical Context of Water Conflicts, Goswami said while it was true that the current utilisation of the colossal water resource potential of the region is dismally poor, the policies for the utilisation of these resources need to have a broader outlook.

He said Brahmaputra’s “classified” river tag has hit researchers, as there is a bar on getting hydrological data of the river.

A case study on conflicts over the Tipaimukh hydro-electric project by R.K. Ranjan Singh was also presented in the workshop.

A paper on River Bank Erosion in Rohmoria area in Dibrugarh district: Impact, Conflict and Peoples’ struggle by Siddartha Kumar Lahiri was presented.

“It is time for the state to understand that social negligence piling up for decades may boomerang at unexpected moments with unpredicted intensities unless a sincere effort is shown,” the paper said.