North East Water Management Authority to study flood and erosion of NE scientifically: Sonowal
LAKHIMPUR: Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal visited the flood and erosion-hit areas of Lakhimpur district on Tuesday. Arriving in the district, the Chief Minister at first visited the No. 3 check bundh at Jamuguri under Bihpuriya LAC which was devastated by massive erosion caused by River Subansiri recently. He was accompanied by Water Resources Minister Keshab Mahanta, Panchayat and Rural Development Minister Naba Kumar Doley, Tezpur MP Pallab Losan Das, Bihpuriya MLA Debananda Hazarika and high-level officers of Lakhimpur district administration and Water Resources Department. Inspecting the extensive devastation in the area caused by flood and erosion, the Chief Minister, in front of the media persons at the spot, highlighted the steps taken by the governments at the Centre and in the State to mitigate the flood and erosion problem of Assam.
"Flood and erosion is the burning problem of the State. I have seen that during the second wave of flood this year, erosion has caused massive damage across the State from Sadiya to Jonai -Airamghat, from Lakhimpur to Kokrajhar, including Chirang, Barpeta and so on. Around 5,00,000 hectares of land in the State have already been destroyed by the mighty Brahmaputra. The rivers of the State erode away average 8,000 hectares of land per annum. In order to mitigate the flood and erosion problem of the Northeast, including Assam, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has constituted the North East Water Management Authority (NEWMA) with the vice-chairman of NITI Ayog as chairperson, nominating a member from each State. The NEWMA will study the flood and erosion problem scientifically and prepare detailed project report. This major responsibility was imposed upon the NEWMA by the Prime Minister considering the problem at national level as a major problem," the Chief Minister stated.
He further added that the erosion problem of the State would be treated as a natural calamity henceforth. "It is our privilege that the erosion problem of the State has been tagged as natural calamity. The problem was not tagged as natural calamity during the long 72 years of post-Independence period till the term of the 14th Finance Commission. When the chairperson of the 15th Finance Commission, NK Singh visited the State, our government requested him to treat and tag erosion problem as natural calamity. He already consented to it as a reply to our request. As a result of it, the Disaster Management funds sanctioned to the State can be invested for the mitigation of the erosion problem," asserted the Chief Minister.
Thereafter, the Chief Minister visited the flood and erosion-hit Dhunaguri area under the Bihpuriya Revenue Circle and the Bhimpora embankment of River Subansiri under Telahi Development Block of North Lakhimpur Revenue Circle. The Bhimpora embankment is under massive threat of erosion caused by River Subansiri at present.
During the visit, the people of Bihpuriya LAC submitted several memoranda to the Chief Minister demanding him to take steps to repair the embankment at Jamuguri, to reconstruct the damaged check bundh and to construct three more check bundhs at the place, to set up a 10-bedded hospital at Jamuguri, to establish a blood bank at Dhalpur Rural Hospital, to rehabilitate the flood and erosion victims under the constituency, to control the flood caused by rivers like Dikrong, Dorpang, Sessa, Pisola constructing their agriculture dykes, to upgrade the birth places of Madhavadeva, Aniruddhadeva and Keshav Charan Ata as tourism hubs along with many other demands.