वर्षा वन अनुसंधान संस्थान, जोरहाट, असम(भारत)
Rain Forest Research Institute, Jorhat

DPR Brahmaputra

   

 

SUMMARY

 

Preparation of Detailed Project Report (DPR) for Rejuvenation of river Brahmaputra through Forestry Interventions

 

The rivers are the major source of surface water on the planet Earth. They carry water and nutrients to downstream areas and play a very important role in the water cycle by acting as drainage channels for surface water, providing habitat and food for many of the earth's organisms like plants, animals, insects, birds etc, provide fertile valleys and plains for agriculture and are an important source of hydropower generation. Rivers like Ganga, Brahmaputra and Narmada are considered holy and therefore worshiped by the various devotees.

 

Exponential population growth, associated developmental activities, encroachment of flood plains, construction of barrages/dams across the span of rivers, sand and boulder mining, water abstraction for industrial and non industrial uses, unscientific dumping of muck excavated during road construction/clearing, hydropower development, industrial development, release of effluents into the river systems by industries as well as domestic sewage and degradation of forests in catchments areas among other factors have influenced the water flow regime of these river systems adversely and deteriorated the natural health of river systems and their water quality thereby reducing the self cleansing capacity of the river. The anthropogenic activities resultant landslides have become more common beside natural processes resulting into increased sediment flux in river systems.

 

Review of past studies revealed that most of the studies have been carried out only in isolated stretches and holistic studies on specific action plans for forestry interventions to improve water quality and quantity, and to improve the riverine ecosystem in the entire river basin level are still lacking. A Detailed Project Report- Forestry Interventions for Ganga under Namami Gange Programme of Ministry of Water Resources River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, GoI was prepared by Forest Research Institute Dehradun of Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE) in 2016 and well appreciated at National as well as international level. Therefore, the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), Govt. of India instructed ICFRE to undertake project on preparation of Detailed Project Report (DPR) for rejuvenation of major rivers in the country through forestry interventions. The ICFRE through its regional institutes has identified thirteen (13) rivers (viz. Beas, Chenab, Jhelum, Ravi, Sutlej, Yamuna, Brahmaputra, Mahanadi, Narmada, Krishna, Godavari, Cauvery, Luni) belonging to nine (9) river basins for DPR preparation for their rejuvenation through forestry interventions following holistic approach.

 

Accordingly, Rain Forest Research Institute (RFRI) , Jorhat one of the premier organization under   Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE) was instructed to prepare Detailed Project Report (DPR) for Rejuvenation of river Brahmaputra through Forestry Interventions.

 

The broad objective is to rejuvenate major river systems of the country through forestry interventions. Specific objectives are to:

    1. Review and assess the existing situation of river basin, past river management & implications and lessons learned,
    2. Identify and involve stakeholders and build consensus for design and development of strategies and approaches,
    3. Assess ongoing forestry activities of the states engaged in the river management programme(s).
    4. Assess potential and possibilities for regeneration, improvement, and restoration of forest catchments,
    5. Assess the conditions of riparian forests and potential of biological filters,
    6. Examine the possibility of allied and other income generation activities,
    7. Assess the potential of cultivation of medicinal plants and restoration of conservation areas and identify appropriate species and suitable sites,
    8. Identify research and monitoring needs and develop a strategy for future research and monitoring, and
    9. Formulate strategies, develop approaches, and plan activities for project implementation.

 

Logical Framework Approach, which is a multi pronged and multi stakeholder’s consultative process, that was followed FRI Dehradun in Detailed Project Report - Forestry Intervention for Ganga (FRI, 2016) will be followed for preparation of the Detailed Project Reports of major river systems of the country. The existing scientific knowledge, past experiences and varied expertise available in ICFRE and other institutes will be utilized for developing the framework, strategies and activities of the DPR through exhaustive consultative process.

 

In this connection, an Inception Meeting inviting all the relevant organization including representatives from State Forest Department(Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Manipur, Sikkim and West Bengal), Brahmaputra Board, Indian Institute of Technology- Guwahati , Dibrugarh University, Gauhati University, Tezpur University, Assam Agricultural University, North Eastern Space Applications Centre, North Eastern Regional Institute of Water and Land Management, CSIR-North East Institute of Science & Technology, Community controlled forests Administrator, NGOs (Aaranyak, Polygon Foundation-NE), Central Water Commission, National Bureau of Soil Survey & Land Use Planning, Flood and River Erosion Management Agency of Assam etc. is organized on 18th June 2019 at RFRI, Jorhat to discuss various issues related to DPR preparation and kick off the initiative in the right direction.

 

Later, a State Level Consultation Meeting inviting all the relevant organization including representatives from State Forest Department, Academia/ Research Institutes, other departments and NGOs were organized at Sikkim, Meghalaya and West Bengal on 27th June 2019, 19th July 2019 and 6th August, 2019, respectively. In the same line, a State Level Consultation Meeting is organized on 27th August, 2019 inviting all relevant stakeholders from Nagaland, with an aim to develop region-specific strategies.

 

The overall initiative will result in preparation of a comprehensive document as Detailed Project Report (DPR) on forestry interventions in rejuvenation and overall management of the river Brahmaputra. The document will include the details of river, stakeholders, mechanisms to address the relevant issues, schedule and cost for implementation of various activities and its monitoring protocol. At a later stage, any agency implementing the forestry interventions (viz. – Forest department, Brahmaputra Board, etc.) may use the DPR or parts of it to seek funding from any funding agency and implement the DPR.