Expedite flood-erosion control schemes, Brahmaputra as important as Ganga: Uma Bharti
From Staff Correspondent
Shillong, February 11: Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti today announced rechristening of the Brahmaputra Board with a new me that will go along with its overhauling to meet the mandate of water resources magement in the Northeastern region.
“Today is the last day of the Brahmaputra Board because from tomorrow the new process (of revamping) will start,” Bharti categorically stated at the seventh meeting of its High Powered Review Board here.
“I am here to advocate for the Northeastern region. My ministry is committed to have an effective, competent and resourseful Board to deal with the problems of floods and erosion,” she said.
Bharti asserted that suggestions and ideas for reviving the Board will be taken from the seven Northeastern states, adding that there is a need for a new approach to make the Board more efficient.
She said that her ministry has the same focus for the Brahmaputra as it has for the Ganga. She said a decision has been taken to constitute a committee for reviving the Board and the committee will suggest necessary steps and measures for reviving it. “The committee will reveal the new me, but I wanted the new process to start, be effective and sensitive to the people of the Northeastern region and work on a fast track mode,” she said.
The Union Minister expressed displeasure at the functioning of the Brahmaputra Board, ahead of the its penultimate review session attended by the Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, ministers and parliamentary secretaries from the Northeastern states.
“The new Board will be a new child, a new life, a new light and with new schemes which will be people-friendly,” she said, adding that the restructured Board will seek to ward off the “misconceptions” of it being Assam-centric and to remove its inefficacy in providing resources to the states that it has been mandated for.
The Union minister also asked the representatives from the state governments present at the meeting to thoroughly examine the schemes related to floods and erosion in order to eble her ministry to live up to its assurances in dealing on a fast track mode.
“I want the flood and erosion schemes to be implemented on a fast track mode and for that I request all the ministers and officers to read our schemes properly,” she stated, adding that she was open to change the functioning of her ministry for better results.
She also assured to go “out of the way” to plead with other ministries on issues related to floods and erosion in the region.
Emphasising that development of the region has to be fast tracked, the minister also advocated that the share of funds between the Northeast region and Central Government should be on the ratio of 90:10 basis and not 70:30.
Meghalaya Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma, who also attended the meeting, said that re-structuring of the Board is crucial, as the Brahmaputra can provide a lot of benefits to the people, and instances of flooding by the mighty river and its tributaries does affect the economy of the region.