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Char Area : Assam


Prelims: Environment (Important concepts), Char area, Ecological Integrity, Brahmaputra River system

Mains: General Studies-III: Conservation, Environmental Pollution and Degradation, Environmental Impact Assessment.

Why in the News ?

 Assam Chief Minister said his government would undertake a mission to reclaim the ‘chars’ from encroachers to safeguard the “ecological integrity” of the Brahmaputra Valley.

Source: TH

📌 FYI on Prelims:

Ecological Integrity: The ability of an ecological system to support and maintain a community of organisms that has species composition, diversity, and functional organization comparable to those of natural habitats within a region.


  • Char area: 

    • The riverine areas (island) of the river Brahmaputra, locally known as “Char/ Chapori”
    • The chars follow a peculiar pattern of migration. They are subjected to erosion on their upstream and deposition on the downstream, due to which they migrate downstream.
    • This affects the geometry and location of the chars during floods almost every year.
    • Issues:
      • The physical, sociological and institutional constraints on development of Char Areas are many and complex.
      • Virtual absence of all weather communication with the main banks, reliable means of intra and inter char mobility, inadequate growth of transport and basic infrastructure like surface roads, health and drinking water, delivery systems for farm inputs, marketing, agro-services electricity and education.
      • The problems in the Char Areas are unique in nature, due to constant threat from flood and erosion during the rainy season.
      • The land mass is segregated and cut off from each other, making it very difficult for taking any major scheme for road communication, irrigation, Power supply or setting of educational institutions.

About Brahmaputra River system:

    • Length: 2,900 km in length.
    • Source: Chemayungdung glacier (Kailas Range) at an elevation of about 5,150 m. It’s source is very close to the sources of Indus and Satluj.
    • Mariam La separates the source of the Brahmaputra from the Manasarovar Lake.
    • Brahmaputra flows eastwards in Southern Tibet for about 1,800 km.
    • Towards the end of its journey in Tibet, its course abruptly takes a south ward turn around Namcha Barwa (7,756 m), a Syntaxial Bend.
Brahmaputra River system


Mains: PYQ/FAQ

Q. Define the concept of carrying capacity of an ecosystem as relevant to an environment. Explain how understanding this concept is vital while planning for sustainable development of a region.

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