Erosion? Dispur couldn't care less
Works by Water Resources department proceeding at sil’s pace
By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, March 17: Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi hardly loses any opportunity to highlight the problem of extensive erosion by rivers in the State. On more than one occasion, he has flagged erosion as the biggest threat the State is faced with, a threat more serious than perennial floods. But it seems his views have not percolated down to the State Water Resources department.
But, going by the sluggish manner in which the erosion control schemes are being implemented in the State, it seems the Water Resources department is ignorant about the gravity of the problem, or it does not share the Chief Minister’s concerns.
In 2011-12, the department had taken up as many as 120 erosion control schemes.
Till the first part of March this year, the department could construct only 32 embankments. In seventeen other schemes, the progress of work is between 5 to 15 per cent.
The lethargic pace at which the schemes are being implemented is bound to cast doubts over the efficiency of the Water Resources department in dealing with the State’s erosion problem.
According to Chief Minister Gogoi, bank cutting and erosion by rivers poses a greater threat than floods in the State.
So far 4 lakh hectare of land has been gobbled up by the Brahmaputra and Barak rivers in the past 50 years. The rate of erosion is the State is 8,000 hectares every year.
Gogoi had recently reiterated his request to the Centre to consider the State government’s long-standing demand for treating erosion as a tural calamity, as well as expediting the process for setting up the Brahmaputra River Valley Authority (BRVA) to carry out long-term mitigation measures on both Brahmaputra and Barak river basins.