Assam water resource minister Pijush Hazarika today said a major project worth Rs 400 crore has been undertaken in the Beki River to tackle the floods that are caused yearly by the Kurichu Dam in neighbouring Bhutan.
Replying to a query at the ongoing session of the Assam Assembly, Hazarika said here that to tackle the excess water let off into the Beki River by the Kurichu Dam in Bhutan which causes floods in Lower Assam, projects worth Rs 400.25 crore have been taken up for preventing floods and erosion from the funds that have been secured from the World Bank. The Assam minister said that of this, work worth Rs 118.65 crore is on its way to completion. He said that the second phase of work would commence after the monsoons in the current fiscal year.
He further said that three technical committees comprising of experts have been formed by the governments of India and Bhutan to look into the issue of flooding which happens in areas of Lower Assam after dams in Bhutan leave excess water in the monsoons. Hazarika said that these committees meet from time to time and exchange data and ideas towards tackling the situation.
The Assam minister also said that in a bid to tackle the flood scenario in Assam and the entire Northeastern region, a proposal has been given to form a pan-region body called as the North-Eastern Water Management Authority (NEWMA) that will handle and manage the water resources across the states of the Northeast.
Hazarika said that a proposal has been given to form NEWMA in this regard, which would manage the water bodies of the region. He said that the formation of the NEWMA would pave way for tackling the flood scenario in Assam as well as the rest of the Northeast.
Hazarika gave the statement while replying to the question by Leader of Opposition Debabarata Saikia if the Assam government has proposed to the Centre to declare the yearly floods in the state as a national calamity. He said that the state government has been asking the Centre from time to time to declare the Assam floods as a national calamity.
The Assam water resource minister also said that the state government is receiving generous funds from the Centre each year to handle the yearly flood scenario in the state. He said that several flood-preventive schemes have been undertaken in flood-prone areas of the state.
He further said that after initiatives by the BJP-led Central government, the Assam government has managed to secure large loans from the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank which have gone a long way in tackling the problem of erosion in the Brahmaputra River and its tributaries.
Pijush Hazarika further said that even if the Centre is yet to declare Assam floods as a national calamity, the constant attention and assistance from the Centre has helped the state government in tackling the yearly floods in a major way.
He further said that proposals have been made to create Storage Reservoirs in various places in the state which can be used to store excess water from the floods and then they can be diverted to farmlands for better use.
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