World History

Farakka row: Time to shelve colonial reductionist engineering, explore Chinese model

The sole reliance on the traditional British engineering while constructing the Farakka Barrage has already created problems at a minimum of two levels: international and interstate. On the other hand, China has developed its own set of ecologically informed engineering while designing its dam on Yangtze. The design helps in flood control, and also uses the peak flow to use the sediments effectively for downstream floodplain cultivation. Sediment is an important variable, and such scientific understanding of sediment management needs to be developed in India as well. This “two-level” game can be managed more effectively with a transboundary river basin organisation that can promote Integrated River Basin Management (IRBM), but that will require a better resolve from all the nations involved.

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Amit Singh

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