GUWAHATI, Sept 14 - Asserting that time has come to take flood control beyond the conventional strategy of embankments, Union Minister of State for Water Resources Dr Sanjeev Kumar Balyan today said that a thorough study of the Brahmaputra river system should precede any long-term move to contain the menace.
The minister also announced that three major irrigation projects � Dhansiri, Champawati and Borolia � pending for over 35 years would be revived.
Addressing a press conference following his two-day stock-taking exercise across flood-affected areas of the State, Dr Balyan said that the Centre had received 66 flood- and erosion-control proposals from the State Government and that the Centre was roping in several agencies, including World Bank, ADB, DoNER and NABARD, for funding these projects.
�The State Government has given an estimate of Rs 10,000 crore for the projects. The World Bank and the ADB are to provide assistance of Rs 1,500 crore and Rs 367 crore respectively. Another Rs 400 crore will come from DoNER,� he said.
The minister added that the projects would be taken up on a priority basis and that the Centre and the State Government would set up a joint committee for better coordination in project implementation.
Emphasising on an in-depth study of the Brahmaputra, Dr Balyan said that the need was to shed the defensive approach adopted so far vis-�-vis flood management and put to sustainable use the huge water resources in the form of the mighty Brahmaputra.
�We are going to have an altogether different approach in matters of flood control. A comprehensive study of the Brahmaputra will precede long-term interventions, and we want to go beyond the conventional approach of constructing embankments. We will also seek foreign expertise in the matter,� he said.
The minister also announced that the Dhansiri, Champawati and Borolia irrigation projects would be implemented by March 2017. �These projects have been pending for decades and we will revive them. Funds will be released within a month and the projects will be implemented by March 2017. The projects will irrigate 83,000 hectares, 16,581 hectares and 1,652 hectares of cropland respectively,� he said.
NABARD will fund the projects with the Centre and the State Government bearing the cost on 80:20 basis.