GEO-SPATIAL MODELLING FOR PALEOCHANNELS OF THE RIVER: A CASE STUDY OF THE ANJANA RIVER OFFTAKE OF NADIA, WEST BENGAL, INDIA (2019)
Dr. Raja Ghosh JCR. 2019: 2962-2967
Nadia is the land of rivers like the River Bhagirathi, River Mathabhanga, the River Ichamati and the River Jalangi, the River Bhairab, the Churni. There is another river Anjana which is originated from river jalangi. Anjana, once the main left side stream line figure of river Jalangi, has now become a narrow canal. As per records of Nadia district, the then voluminous river Anjana was the only short cut to go from one side of the district to other, and also it maintained the water balance between river Anjana and river Churni at the time of Monsoon. It used to carry abundant water from the Jalangi to the Churni, thus maintaining the water balance between these two Rivers. The main channel of Jalangi is characterized by intense meandering and the channel has shifted a few times in the recent past. This fact is confirmed by the presence of ox-bow lakes, meander scars etc. near the main channel. It can also be found from the old maps of the 18th and 19th century that width of the Jalangi river channel-which was at a par with the Bhagirathi-Hugli River until a couple of centuries back-has been decreasing. Jalangi is a distributary of the Padma River which has opened up within the last few hundred years to flow actively in the southern and south-western direction through the districts of Murshidabad and Nadia in West Bengal. Initially, its source was the original Jalangi offtake located near Jalangi village, Murshidabad district. Earlier, it used to meet Bhairab River at two different points 5 km apart. But due to irregular flow of water, this part of the Anjana River has become a paleochannel and the discharge through Jalangi River is now maintained by Bhairab River. The anthropogenic impact is mostly visible in the areas near Krishnanagar city. Significant changes in the general health of the channel occurred in the upper course of Anjana and that part has become a paleochannels during the course of time. Flood appears to be a major threat for the region during the monsoon season and a substantial proportion of land remains inundated for a long time if a major flood occurs. But even a high intensity extreme flood event may not bring about long-term changes in the channel morphology of Anjana. Location and arrangement of the brick fields, occurrence of water hyacinth, usage of river water for sanitation purpose etc. further degrade the health of Anjana River. Anjana River still acts as a necessary component for the people of Nadia district. Human beings carry out different activities depending solely upon this river. So, even though the discharge through Anjana is satisfactory during the monsoon season, there is every chance that the river could turn into an abandoned one in the near future. The consequences could be really hazardous and could severely disrupt the eco-systems in the region. The curative measures with proper planning and management could be suggested to regenerate the river environment.
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