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  India   All India  26 May 2018  Anti-erosion plan casts a cloud over Kaziranga

Anti-erosion plan casts a cloud over Kaziranga

THE ASIAN AGE. | MANOJ ANAND
Published : May 26, 2018, 4:27 am IST
Updated : May 26, 2018, 4:27 am IST

Floods wash away unwanted weeds & help growth of grasses that are a good diet for the animals.

An example of erosion caused by floods in Kaziranga.
 An example of erosion caused by floods in Kaziranga.

Guwahati: Erosion has certainly been threatening the landmass of the world-famous Kaziranga National Park, but any attempt to adopt artificial anti-erosion measures to protect the park from floods may prove disastrous for its ecology.

Admitting that erosion has been a long-standing problem of Kaziranga National Park, the conservationists are not sure whether to adopt artificial anti-erosion methods. Some conservationists believe that the problem in Kaziranga is not acute in view of the fact that the loss of land from erosion is compensated by accretion due to sediment deposition on another side.

Pointing out that some conservationists are opposed to the idea of anti-erosion measures planned by the government, the divisional forest officer, Kaziranga Rohini B Saikia said, “The present level of erosion cannot be termed alarming. While some land has been lost to erosion, new areas have also come up. It is a natural process and we do not think intervention in the form of anti-erosion measures is required as yet.”

Mr Saikia said that any structure in the form of raised embankment would spell doom for Kaziranga's ecosystem, which is intrinsically linked to the annual floods that inundate the park and sustain its floodplain habitat.

“Kaziranga’s wetlands and its overall floodplains get replenished by the floodwaters. Preventing the flood flow will destroy its ecology”" he said, adding that the State Water Resource Department is also studying the problem.

According to a study, the period from 1912 to 2008 saw the loss of a total land area of 150.04 sq km due to erosion by the Brahmaputra. At the same time, total landmass of 61.86 sq km was added, resulting in an overall loss of 88.188 sq km land.

The conservationists working in Kaziranaga said that checking erosion through unraised barriers like stone spurs could be tried if the erosion worsens further.

“It is not wise to disturb the natural systems. In case of erosion taking a worst turn, some preventive steps would be necessary,” he said.

According to another conservationist, erosion along the northern boundary of the park from Agaratoli to Arimura should be a cause for concern. “In any case, a loss of 88 sq km land from the park's prime area of 430 sq km cannot be dismissed as totally irrelevant,” he said.

He referred to the study divided into the following periods: 1912-1916 to 1972, 1972 to 1998, and 1998 to 2008. The total area eroded during 1912-1916 to 1972 was 84.87 sq km as compared to accretion of 24.49 sq km due to sediment deposition.

The total area eroded during 1972-1998 was 44.769 sq km as against the addition of 29.47 sq km, and the total area eroded during 1998-2008 was 20.41 sq km as compared to accretion of 7.89 sq km.

Tags: kaziranga national park, anti-erosion
Location: India, Assam, Guwahati (Gauhati)