Eight proposals worth Rs 1416.21 crore pending before Centre
By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, July 5: Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh assured that the problem of erosion in Assam would be covered by the schemes under the Calamity Relief Fund (CRF) and henceforth funds would be released under a specific head to deal with this particular problem in the State. The assurance given by the Prime Minister was conveyed by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi at a press meet held here on July 2.
Dr Singh had made the announcement at a Cabinet meeting, held in Chief Minister Gogoi’s presence, which according to the latter, would go a long way in mitigating the woes of the erosion- hit people.
The big questions arise are: When will Assam receive funds under the CRF to deal with its erosion problem? What would be volume of the funds to be sanctioned by the Central Government under the CRF for Assam?
Sources said that several erosion control schemes prepared by the State Government are now pending before the Central Government at various stages. In its recent report, the Planning Commission stated that eight such proposals of the State Government are pending before the Central Government for a waiver. “The estimated cost of the eight proposals is Rs 1416.21 crore. Out of Rs 1416.21 crore, the Central share is Rs 1274.59 crore and the rest is the State’s share,” added the Planning Commission’s report.
The following projects prepared by the Assam Government are currently pending before the Central Water Commission at various stages: Rs 167.09 crore project for the protection of Biswanath to Panpur against erosion, Rs 187.97 crore project for the construction of dykes from Dhing to Hilloikhunda, Rs 344.17 crore project for the protection of Rohmaria area, Rs 129.31 crore project for implementing anti-erosion measures in Buridhing, Rs 177.56 crore project for the protection of Kaziranga National Park, Rs 100.34 crore project for the protection of dykes from Sissikalghar to Tekeliphuta, Rs 182.67 crore project for the R/S of Ranganadi embankments and Rs 127.10 crore project for the flood and erosion control in Puthimari.
The Prime Minister and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi who toured the flood-hit Assam gauged the damage done by the floods in the State. Now, it’s their turn to speed up the process of covering the State’s erosion problem by the schemes under the CRF.
According to the report of the Task Force set up by the Prime Minister in 2004, the State of Assam has lost properties worth Rs 36,000 crore due to erosion since 1954.