Flood control activities in Assam started after announcement of National Policy for Flood in 1954 by the Govt. of India. Though there was short term and long term measures in National Flood Policy of 1954, to get the immediate relief to the flood ravaged state, construction of embankments as short term measures had been widely adopted because this could be constructed quickly with local resources and abundant manpower to protect large area with comparatively smaller outlays.
The Department performed works under the name Public Works Deptt. (PWD) till 1970 when the Deptt. along with Irrigation Deptt. bifurcated from the parent Deptt. i.e. PWD vide Notification No. ABP 135 / 70 / 10 Dt. 18-09-1970. Again in the year 1974 the Irrigation Deptt. was separated out from the Flood Control Deptt vide Notification No. ABP 74 / 73 / Pt / 17 Dt. 22-01-1974. Subsequently, the Deptt. was renamed as Water Resources Deptt. in the year 2002 vide Notification No. AR 21 / 2002 / 4 Dt. 01-11-2002.
During post independence period, Assam faced major floods in 1954, 1962, 1972, 1977, 1984, 1988, 1998, 2002 and 2004. Almost every year three to four waves of flood ravage the flood prone areas of Assam. Average annual loss due to flood in Assam is to the tune of Rs. 200.00 Crores and particularly in 1998, the loss suffered was about Rs. 500.00 Crores and during the year 2004 it was about Rs. 771.00 Crores.
After the unprecedented floods in the country in 1954, the Govt. of India announced a National Policy on Floods comprising three phases viz.-
The flood control activities in Assam started mainly after the announcement of National Water Policy formulated in September 1954. Subsequently, “outlined plan for flood control in Assam” along with various comprehensive plans were prepared and the priority areas, which need immediate and urgent attention were identified.
Water Resources Department has 26 nos of Civil Divisions. The Tezpur Water Resources Division is one of them. The Tezpur Water Resources Division was established during the year 1971 . Now, the all concern works is running from the divisional office building available at Rubber Bagan area under Tezpur Town. There are many flashy rivers are flowing under Sonitpur District. The origin of the all rivers comes from on the foothills of the Himalayan range in the state of Arunachal Pradesh. It carries substantial silts during high spate of flood for which the silt deposited on river bed causes the bed of the river is found gradually elevated. Due to recurring deposition of silt on river bed after each consecutive flood the consuming capacity of flood water is going to be decreased by the river. So, the flood water spills the both banks of the river caused massive flood inundation. Therefore, to minimize the flood problem creating by the river this Tezpur water resources division plying a vital role at present.
The main objectives of the Tezpur W.R Division are as follows
Functions of the Water Resources Department are –
Accordingly, the Tezpur Water Resources Division has been implementing these flood management measures in reaches so necessary, as per recommendation of Rastriya Barh Ayog (R.B.A).
The embankments were constructed with a sense of urgency to provide maximum coverage to protect the inundated areas because of topographical features and thick population settlement.
Erosion along the embankments and natural banks of the river system has been a serious problem because of the fact that most of the embankments were constructed very near to the bank line with a view to protect as many area as possible during those period. In the course of time due to natural change taking place in the meandering pattern of river, many reaches have been subjected to erosion threatening the embankments. Though embankment systems provided reasonable protection from recurring floods, the system itself had to withstand massive active erosion in many places. So, it has been necessary to take up anti erosion measures to protect the embankments as well as the river bank.