Bengal is proverbially land of rivers. The vast and intricate mesh of tributaries and distributaries in Bengal are characterised by some unique hydrological and morphological features which give rise to certain ecological processes typical in the region. Increasing structural interventions in the fragile region has greatly disturbed the natural hydro-geomorphological processes leading to alarming consequences like devastating floods, large-scale erosion, decay of channels and lowering of the groundwater table. An attempt is made in this deliberation to conscientiously analyse the limitations of traditional hydrological engineering approach to water management. The speaker argues that human and ecological security could only be brought about by understanding the close, interactive linkages between institutional and ecological issues in space and how this knowledge can help generate constructive alternatives to meet the challenges of development and utilization of the water resources in a sustainable manner.

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Rudra Kalyan
Dr. Kalyan Rudra is presently Chairman of West Bengal Pollution Control Board and also member of the Central Pollution Control Board. He is a Geographer by academic training having specialization in river and water management. Dr. Rudra was a member of the National Flood Management Core Group and headed the committee constituted to advise the Government of West Bengal on the issue of Indo-Bangladesh sharing of transboundary water. He had been a member a member of the consortium of IITs which submitted the Ganga River Basin Management Plan to the Government of India in 2015. He is a regular Guest Faculty in the Academic Staff Colleges of Calcutta and Burdwan University. He has written/edited five books and many research papers which have been published in reputed journals of India and abroad. Dr. Rudra also worked with the International Union for Conservation of Nature to prepare Indo-Bangladesh transboundary river atlas. He has worked on the history of mapping Bengal and edited “A Bengal Atlas” by James Rennell (1780). His latest book ‘The rivers of the Ganga-Brahmaputra-Meghna delta’(2018) has been highly appreciated by the scholars.