GUWAHATI, July 20 - The Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) today asserted that it would keep mounting pressure on the Centre to declare Assam�s flood and erosion as national problems and for taking effective steps to deal with the problems.
AGP general secretary Dr Kamala Kalita told The Assam Tribune that since its formation, the AGP has been demanding that flood and erosion be treated as national problems and during its tenure in power, the regional party had submitted memorandums to the Centre in this regard. He asserted that the regional party would never give up the demand and would mount pressure on the Centre in this regard.
Dr Kalita alleged that over the years, successive Congress governments at the Centre never gave any importance to develop the region. It was only during the tenures of Atal Behari Vajpayee and HD Deve Gowda as Prime Minister that some importance was given to the North East. �As Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been claiming that he is keen on the overall development of the region, we hope that he will keep his word and take effective steps for solving the problems of flood and erosion,� he added.
The AGP general secretary said that it is beyond the capability of the State government to find a permanent solution to the problems of flood and erosion and the Centre must take steps in this regard. He pointed out that overall development of Assam would never be possible without a permanent solution of the twin problems as every year, the backbone of the State�s economy is broken by the natural calamities, which cause heavy damage to infrastructure like roads and bridges.
On AGP�s role in helping the flood-affected people, Dr Kalita said all the office-bearers and district level members of the party have been directed to reach out to the flood victims with aid. He said problems in providing relief to the affected people are immediately brought to the notice of the deputy commissioners concerned by the party workers, so that corrective measures can be taken.
Dr Kalita said the AGP workers have also been directed to make an assessment of the damage done and requirements of the flood-hit people. He pointed out that the government is making an assessment on its own and the AGP would also make its assessment based on reports from the ground and submit the same to the government so that the process of rehabilitation of the affected people can be expedited.
On the performance of the AGP ministers during the floods, Dr Kalita said that Water Resources Minister Keshab Mahanta has been visiting the affected places. Mahanta also tried his best to get the damaged embankments repaired before the onset of the monsoon. But the calamity this year was beyond the reach of the water resources department.
Similarly, Agriculture Minister Atul Bora is also visiting the affected areas daily and he is also trying to chalk out plans to lay stress on distributing rabi crops to help out the affected farmers, Dr Kalita added.