A Message from the Founder & CEO
On behalf of the Core Professional Group for the Brahmaputra (CPGB), I would like to welcome you to this forum, and request your support in generating a large scale public awareness and support for preserving the very existence and unique cultural heritage of Majuli Island of the Brahmaputra River in Assam in Northeast India.
The CPGB is a Non-Government Organization (NGO) formed under my leadership in 2010 by a group of experienced Indian national and international river management professionals/experts with roots deep in the region and with passions to help its people. CPGB is registered as an NGO in India, and also as a Tax Exempt entity in US under the Internal Revenue Service Code 501(c) (3). The primary mission of CPGB is to develop innovative sustainable technical solutions to mitigate the hazards of flood and riverbank erosion of the Brahmaputra River and to harness the regional water resources for economic growth and enhancement of environmental quality of the region.
After observing 70 years of failed technical measures by the authorities to combat the miseries of chronic floods and devastating riverbank erosion of the Majuli Island, the group identified possible mitigation of flooding and erosion of the Island as a Pilot project. Accordingly, we performed a comprehensive assessment of the historic geomorphology, hydrologic, hydraulic, and erosion-sedimentation characteristics of the Brahmaputra responsible for the devastating floods and riverbank erosion of the Island. Upon evaluation of the ineffective performance of the presently implemented measures we have deduced that there are better flood and erosion control engineering techniques to mitigate the chronic menace.
The group has formulated a range of multi-phased technological plan involving data gathering, geologic and geomorphologic study, mathematical modelling of river hydraulics and sediment transport and development of sustainable design solutions. During the last decade CPGB has prepared a series of proposals and submitted to the Ministry of Water Resources, Govt. of India for funding authorization to proceed with detailed planning, design and implementation of their plan. We are patiently waiting to hear any positive response from the authorities.
The importance of preserving the resources and the unique cultural heritage of Majuli is beyond reiteration. Time and times again the UNESCO World Heritage Committee has considered recognition of Majuli as a World Heritage site, only to be denied of the honor due to the threatening existence of the island from the ravages of floods and riverbank erosion. Hence our clarion call at this moment is to generate an All-Hands public awareness for strong and urgent Socio-Political support for preserving the very existence of the Island that we all love so dearly. Please speak up NOW! The time to save Majuli is NOW!!
Some of my achievements & recognitions are
“Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award”, 2021, for Environmental Technology. Highest award with a Gold Model & certificate by the President of India.
Doctor of Science and Technology (D.sc), honorary, Downtown University (DTU) Guwahati, Assam (India) in 2015
Rotary International “Service above self” highest award from the President Rotary International in 2015
Keynote speaker at the Water Resources Conference, Govt. of Assam from 2014 - 2018
Delegate to China, selected as one of the twenty delegation members, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) for meetings in Beijing, Xi’an and Shanghai (Nov.10-20, 2010)
Outstanding Service (Professor of Civil Engineering, University of Alaska, USA for 20 years), certificate of Alaska Legislature, 1996
Fulbright scholarship to India (1988-89) on lectures titled “Design and Construction of various structures on marginal soil conditions” at Indian Institute of Technology Delhi and Delhi College, IIT Banaras and Assam Engineering College
US delegate to Leningrad, USSR, Under US President Carter’s exchange, joint USA/USSR seminar titled” Building under Cold Climate”, 1979. Dr. Phukan made a presentation on the “Design and Construction of the Alaska Pipeline in Alaska, USA
I retired as a professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, and Anchorage branches from 1975 to 1995 and published six Engineering books including the First Text Book names " Frozen Ground Engineering". I retired earlier to concentrate on the consulting Engineering Company specializing in planning, design and implementation of Civil, Structural, Geotechnical, and Environmental Engineering projects.
Under my supervision, the CPGB Group are visiting by land and water to analyze the flood and the erosion by the Brahmaputra River on the Island. Below are some typical pictures of the erosions of the riverbank on the Island. An account of my life’s journey across three continents detailing my education, professional career, philanthropic work and recognitions is described in my autobiography “The Determination to Succeed”, published in English (2019) and Assamese (2023). The mission of the book is to serve an example to generate wisdom and aspirations in young minds, to never forget our roots, and to give our fair shares to make the world a better place for all. The proceeds from the book will be donated for developing and implementing sustainable engineering projects to protect and restore the Majuli Island from the ravages of recurring floods and riverbank erosion.