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AASU for national problem tag to floods

By R Dutta Choudhury

GUWAHATI, July 16 - With the State reeling under the fury of floods, the All Assam Students� Union (AASU) has reiterated its demand for declaring flood and erosion as national problems and alleged that over the years, successive Governments at Delhi and Dispur failed to take effective steps for permanent solution of the problems.

Talking to The Assam Tribune, AASU chief adviser Samujjal Bhattacharya said that since the time of signing of the Assam Accord, the students� body has been demanding that the Centre should declare flood and erosion as national problems and take effective steps for the permanent solution of it under the provisions of Clause 7 of the Accord. He said that way back in 2005, following a tripartite meeting to review the implementation of the Assam Accord, the Centre made an announcement declaring flood as a national problem, but nothing happened on the ground.

He alleged that the Centre considers the resources of the State as resources of the country but the problems of Assam are not considered as national problems, which is very unfortunate. He also pointed out that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has always been claiming that Assam was very close to his heart and if that is really the case, he should come forward to work for permanent solution of the problems faced by the State.

Bhattacharya pointed out that almost the entire State is now reeling under the fury of floods and till yesterday, at least 66 persons lost their lives.

When such natural calamities take place in other parts of the country, the Prime Minister rushes to such states and announce special grants. But nothing has yet been done in case of Assam, he alleged and called upon the State Government to make public the money received from the Centre over the years to deal with flood and erosion.

The AASU also expressed serious concern over the embankment breaches, which aggravated the situation and demanded that the Government should institute a probe by engaging technical experts from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati and Engineering colleges into repair and construction of embankments. The Government should declare as to why, construction and repair of embankments were not carried out during the dry season and the work started only after the rainy season started, Bhattacharya added. �Every year, the Government starts the work after the rainy season starts and not during the winter. So far, no probe has been ordered by the Government to assess the reasons for so many embankment breaches, which resulted in sufferings of lakhs of people of the State,� he added.

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