Brahmaputra Board to be revamped
BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, February 6: Majuli will be made one of the world’s largest tourist hubs, Union minister for water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvetion Uma Bharti said today, ahead of her two–day visit to the riverine island.
She also said that the Brahmaputra Board, an institution that has been under constant scrutiny, will be revamped for enhanced water resource magement.
Addressing the two–day Assam Water Conference here, Bharti said Assam has to face the disaster of floods every year. “Water is such a resource that it can both be a boon and bane. Unless the water resources are properly maged, it will only never be of benefit…instead it will only cause disasters. Despite the region having immense water resource potential, little has been realized so far,” she said.
“We need to create a basin for comprehensive development of the water resources. We will be holding a meeting of the Brahmaputra Board in Shillong on February 11. We intend to restructure it, giving it a new shape so that it can work more effectively,” she said.
She also indicated that the Central Water Commission engineers in the region needs upgradation.
“The region has maximum development potential in the entire country. IAS and IPS officers cannot bring about this development. Only well–trained engineers can do it,” Bharti said.
She said that various central schemes have been of late modified to ensure that all the states, including the Northeast and the hill states, get their benefits. “Earlier, we had seen the scheme implementation either remained confined to files or were not properly implemented due to various bureaucratic hurdles. Noting this, we had tried to made changes in the schemes. Some were made in the ministry level, others had to be taken to the cabinet. If required, we are ready to even pass Acts to ensure better scheme implementation to address the problem of regiol disparity,” the Union Minister said, adding that “adherence to norms is not enough, what is important is that people get the intended benefit of a scheme”.
Bharti said the Centre plans to make Majuli one of the biggest tourist hubs of the world.
“The serene riverine island, surrounded by the Brahmaputra, has immense potential. I will be staying there for two days and will see what can be done to promote it. We must ensure the island gets the World Heritage Tag. I have spoken to the Chief Minister on this, and we will work on it,” she said.
Describing the Brahmaputra as a brother of Ganga, she said the Centre is working on a water policy and the “packaging is being done holistically taking into account all the rivers”. She, however, did not mention anything on the river linking project.