Ecological and Social Impact on Lower Riparian States: A Case Study of Brahmaputra Basin

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 08:30
Oral Presentation
Ruchi AWASTHY, JNU, India
The Brahmaputra River flows through the three most populous countries in the world which are China India and Bangladesh. Therefore, management of its vast water resources warrants adequate regional as well as international cooperation and pooling of resources and expertise at the national and global levels. The life of a region is intricately linked with its water resource. Any form of alteration in it leads to changes and impacts the society. Brahmaputra is the lifeline of Himalaya region and the entire northeast India. This region is also the homeland of many ethnic tribes like Garo and Mising. The dam will impact not only the natural flow of the river but the flora and fauna dependent on the river. The dams will restrict fish migration, availability of water downstream on which large number of people and wildlife depends. Building of dams at such great height, especially a region which is prone to earthquake poses an ecological risk of floods also. Further the pollution from the dam construction will also be carried downstream, impacting farmland and depleting fish stocks, adding to food security concerns. Another adverse impact would be on the natural heritage of the region. Brahmaputra has direct impact on the Kaziranga national park, Majuli Island and Sunderban delta. These areas are the home of some of the most endangered species of plants and animals. . A strong political will is needed both at the state and national levels and a sustained popular zeal to convert the water resources of the region into a force for sustainable development of the region through an integrated, multidisciplinary approach that covers not only technological aspects but also social, economic and environmental dimensions. Under the existing circumstances, modest interventions with minimum possible impact on the environment appear to be the safest option for this region.