GUWAHATI, March 13 � The State has lost an area of 5,95,155 bighas of land due to erosion by the Brahmaputra between 1971 and 2009 and according to information received from seven districts, a total of 40,246 families have been rendered homeless by erosion.
Informing this while replying to a question by Sherman Ali Ahmed (AIUDF), Water Resources Minister Rajib Lochan Pegu today said that erosion was a serious threat, and to counter this, the Water Resources Department had taken up 47 schemes at cost of Rs 444.85 crore under different heads in the 11th Five Year Plan.
In addition, 12 projects have been submitted to the Central Water Resource Commission for approval, while another two projects were awaiting approval from the empowered committee.
Replying to another question from Sirajuddin Ajmal (AIUDF), Pegu said that 44 rivers in the Brahmaputra Valley and 11 rivers in the Barak Valley of the State have been identified as those posing erosion threat.
The minister further revealed that an amount of Rs 771.32 crore had been utilized by the Water Resources Department since 2001-02 against various river erosion protection schemes. He added that there was no proposal for declaring river bank erosion as a national issue.
Replying to another starred question from Aminul Islam (AIUDF), Revenue Minister Prithvi Majhi, however, said that as per information received from the Deputy Commissioners of 16 districts, 41,813 families had been rendered homeless due to erosion.
On the issue of rehabilitation, the minister further said that the process was on to form �The Rehabilitation Authority for Erosion Affected Families in Assam�. In addition, a plan was afoot to set up community shelter homes for erosion-affected families. It was also being planned to provide two bundle tins and Rs 5,000 under the Chief Minister�s special package for the homeless families.