Annual monsoon flooding plagues Assam, with approximately 40% of the state’s landmass being susceptible to floods.
Remarkably, Assam accounts for nearly 10% of the total flood-prone area in India.

Natural Causes:

  • Assam boasts an extensive river network, notably the Brahmaputra, Barak River, and more than 50 tributaries.
    Additionally, Assam receives river waters from neighboring states like Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya.
  • Bank erosion, primarily driven by the Brahmaputra River, significantly contributes to annual flooding as it widens the river and alters its course, making it the widest river in India.
  • Frequent earthquakes and landslides in Assam and the northeastern region raise the riverbed, exacerbating flooding.

Anthropogenic Causes:

  • Human activities exacerbate flooding, such as encroachments along riverbanks and wetlands, insufficient drainage systems, unregulated urban expansion, hillside deforestation, and haphazard dam construction.
  • The construction of dams has also played a role in exacerbating flooding issues.


National Measures:

  • The Brahmaputra Board proposed dam and reservoir construction in 1982 as a means to mitigate floods in Assam, with dams intended to regulate water flow.
  • The establishment of an efficient flood forecasting system is crucial for timely alerts and preparedness.

International Measures:

  • Collaboration with international organizations like the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) can provide valuable expertise and resources.

Local Area Measures:

  • Implementation of flood-plain zoning to categorize areas based on vulnerability and restrict activities like farming and construction in high-risk zones.
  • River channelization initiatives, including siltation devices through programs like the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).
  • The Water Resources Department of Assam has undertaken projects involving embankments, flood walls, river training, bank protection, anti-erosion measures, and town protection.


Effective flood management in Assam necessitates a combination of structural and non-structural measures.

Coordination between various sectors and collaboration between the central and state governments are essential for managing catchment areas and reducing the impact of annual flooding in Assam.

Legacy Editor Changed status to publish September 16, 2023