Centre leaves Brahmaputra Board in limbo, a headless entity

By our Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, June 17: Does the Centre really care about the Northeast? If one goes by the cliche 'actions speak louder than words', the 'care' which the Centre has been showing for the Northeast seems to be a 'classic pretention'.

Take Brahmaputra Board, a Central Government undertaking, as a case study to zero in on the conclusion. The board has been left in limbo by the Union  Ministry of Water Resources by making it 'headless'. Since June 2014, the Board has been without a permanent chairman. In fact, in the past 33 years the board had as many as 28 chairmen, and only nine of them were permanent. The rest were either acting chairmen or in-charge chairman.

Brahmanputra Board has been involved in kinds of works like irrigation, power production, protection of Majuli etc. A question that continues to haunt the region is: what prevents the Centre from appointing a permanent chairman for the board? The Union ministry concerned did issue a notification for the appointment of the chairman, vice chairman, the general mager and two executive engineers of the Board. A year has elapsed, but the interview for the posts is yet to be conducted.

There had been a move to float North East Water Authority (NEWA) which Brahmaputra Board was supposed to be merged with. The move, however, failed to get its shape, but left the board in limbo in the process. Will the Union ministry do something worthwhile for the Northeast by giving it a fresh lease of life and prove that its 'care' for the Northeast is not a pretention?

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