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AGP asks Centre to take outside help

By Spl Correspondent
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NEW DELHI, Aug 26 � Suggesting rethinking on anti-erosion measures, Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) has urged the Centre to explore the feasibility of adopting the best technique from outside.

Making a Special Mention in the Rajya Sabha on Friday, AGP MP Kumar Deepak Das made an appeal to save Assam from death and destruction of flood. There seems to be no strategy on part of the government to combat the menace.

Alleging gross irregularities, Das demanded a high level inquiry into utilisation of relief and rehabilitation funds sanctioned for flood control and anti-erosion measures.

Renewing the call to declare the flood as a national problem, Das called for review of the power generation plan to prevent flooding in downstream areas during monsoon season. Some 150 big dams are under construction Arunachal Pradesh, he said.

The flood since June has damaged 43 embankment bridges, 1736 roads in 12 districts. Wave after wave of flood has left a trail of destruction. Every flood exposes the lack of preparedness to deal with the situation, he said, and referred to the incident in Dhemaji, where a family taking shelter on a treetop was washed away.

Flood affected people are living on road sides and on embankments. Till date seven per cent of the State�s land has been eroded by mighty Brahmaputra and its tributaries, resulting in considerable reduction of cropland.

Meanwhile, in the Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Power, K C Venugopal in reply to a question by Bijoya Chakravarty said that taking due note of the apprehension among the people of Assam over the adverse impact of the hydroelectric projects particularly the 2000 MW Subansiri Project, the Centre has decided to carry out comprehensive environment impact and downstream impact studies for the three major basins of Brahmaputra including Lohit, Siang and Subansiri.

Report of the Lohit Basin has been completed by Water and Power Consultancy Services (WAPCOS) and submitted to the Ministry of Environment and Forest. The terms of reference for the environment impact assessment studies for Siang and Subansiri Basins have been finalised by Ministry of Environment and Forest and the Central Water Commission is undertaking the studies.

About Subansiri Project, the Minister said on the direction of Government of Assam, to allay the apprehension of the people, a comprehensive downstream impact study was awarded to a group of experts, which submitted its report in March.

The Experts groups has made two set of recommendations including one set pertaining to the safety of dams and other set pertaining to its operational management.

To examine the technical parameters of the dams for its safety, Planning Commission has constituted a two-member Technical Expert Committee. Similarly, for examining the second set of recommendation of the Expert group, a joint steering committee (JSC) has been constituted by National Hydro Power Corporation (NHPC) for mitigation measures in the downstream areas of Subansiri project.

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AGP asks Centre to take outside help

NEW DELHI, Aug 26 � Suggesting rethinking on anti-erosion measures, Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) has urged the Centre to explore the feasibility of adopting the best technique from outside.

Making a Special Mention in the Rajya Sabha on Friday, AGP MP Kumar Deepak Das made an appeal to save Assam from death and destruction of flood. There seems to be no strategy on part of the government to combat the menace.

Alleging gross irregularities, Das demanded a high level inquiry into utilisation of relief and rehabilitation funds sanctioned for flood control and anti-erosion measures.

Renewing the call to declare the flood as a national problem, Das called for review of the power generation plan to prevent flooding in downstream areas during monsoon season. Some 150 big dams are under construction Arunachal Pradesh, he said.

The flood since June has damaged 43 embankment bridges, 1736 roads in 12 districts. Wave after wave of flood has left a trail of destruction. Every flood exposes the lack of preparedness to deal with the situation, he said, and referred to the incident in Dhemaji, where a family taking shelter on a treetop was washed away.

Flood affected people are living on road sides and on embankments. Till date seven per cent of the State�s land has been eroded by mighty Brahmaputra and its tributaries, resulting in considerable reduction of cropland.

Meanwhile, in the Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Power, K C Venugopal in reply to a question by Bijoya Chakravarty said that taking due note of the apprehension among the people of Assam over the adverse impact of the hydroelectric projects particularly the 2000 MW Subansiri Project, the Centre has decided to carry out comprehensive environment impact and downstream impact studies for the three major basins of Brahmaputra including Lohit, Siang and Subansiri.

Report of the Lohit Basin has been completed by Water and Power Consultancy Services (WAPCOS) and submitted to the Ministry of Environment and Forest. The terms of reference for the environment impact assessment studies for Siang and Subansiri Basins have been finalised by Ministry of Environment and Forest and the Central Water Commission is undertaking the studies.

About Subansiri Project, the Minister said on the direction of Government of Assam, to allay the apprehension of the people, a comprehensive downstream impact study was awarded to a group of experts, which submitted its report in March.

The Experts groups has made two set of recommendations including one set pertaining to the safety of dams and other set pertaining to its operational management.

To examine the technical parameters of the dams for its safety, Planning Commission has constituted a two-member Technical Expert Committee. Similarly, for examining the second set of recommendation of the Expert group, a joint steering committee (JSC) has been constituted by National Hydro Power Corporation (NHPC) for mitigation measures in the downstream areas of Subansiri project.

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