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CM’s deadline over: Construction, repair of embankments not completed

 A CORRESPONDENT

LAKHIMPUR, April 30: The deadline of April 30 fixed by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal for the completion of repair and construction work of the critical embankments in the State was not met in Lakhimpur and Dhemaji. The Water Resources Department (WRD) could not complete the projects for the construction and repair work of the embankments going on in both districts within the deadline. It happened so because of the non-release of funds to the contractors concerned by the Finance Department and the non-allotment of work order by the WRD. For example, the construction work of the Ranganadi embankment under Flood Management Project (FMP), which was left unfinished last year, is still to be completed. Even the earth work is not completed in several portions of both embankments of the river and therefore, the geo-mate cannot be laid for their security. The embankment construction project of the river started in 2015 with a fund of Rs. 362 crore under the scheme mentioned.
Similarly, embankment construction of the river Dikrong with a fund of Rs 105 crore and river Dropang with a fund of Rs. 10.5 crore under the FMP, which started in 2015, are also incomplete in the district. There is little hope for the completion of these projects before the rainy season because the Union government has not released the fund amounting to Rs. 1048 crore of this head until the date. This was stated by State Water Resources Minister Keshav Mahanta at a press meet held in Dispur on April 24. He also stated that his department was facing much problem with regard to the proper implementation of the projects under FMP running in the State due to the non-release of fund though the State budgetary allocation of this head was Rs. 1600 crore in the previous year.
On the other hand, though the breached portion of the right embankment of the Ranganadi at Amtola-Joinpur was plugged with sandy-soil, no measures have been executed to prevent the eminent erosion of the new construction and the adjacent areas of the embankment. The Somdiri pilot project with a fund of Rs. 2.50 crore, implemented by North Lakhimpur subdivision of WRD, has also remained unfinished.
In Dhemaji district too, the construction of the right embankment of the River Na-Nadi with a fund of Rs. 1.20 crore, and the repair of the left embankment of River Kumatiya with a fund of Rs. 10 crore at Pehiyoti are still unfinished. Significantly, another embankment repair work of the Brahmaputra from Chich Kolghar to Tekeliphuta was inaugurated by Lakhimpur MP Pradan Baruah on April 22. Granting of work order for this work at the Additional Chief Engineer and Superintending Engineer-level is still pending. Under such circumstances, the riverine people of the both districts fear facing more devastating flood damage than the last year in the forthcoming rainy season.

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Ankur Kalita