NEW DELHI, June 12 � Strongly advocating construction of the Middle Siang Hydel Project for flood management of Brahmaputra River, Union Minister for Water Resources Uma Bharti said that a Cabinet Note for the project is under preparation.
Bharti made these comments after a joint meeting with Union Minister of State for Culture and Tourism Dr Mahesh Sharma and Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Sarbananda Sonowal over the flood situation in Assam.
Later, interacting with newsmen, Bharti said that her Ministry has made provisions for construction of the Middle Siang project. The Government of Assam has already given its consent,� she claimed.
As reported, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has already clarified that he is not aware about the project and the Centre has not consulted his government on this issue.
Meanwhile, the Minister for Water Resources revealed that assessment of the project was on and technical and engineering work would be undertaken first. �A Cabinet Note is also being drafted,� she added.
Bharti further added that whatever funds the Centre is spending on flood management will be diverted to the Middle Siang Project.
Admitting that the land mass of Majuli Island is decreasing, Bharti said the Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR) has decided to save the island. �The MoWR is committed to protect Majuli Island, while the Ministry of Culture and Tourism will work to save the cultural heritage of the river island.�
Meanwhile, emerging from the meeting, the Minister of State for Culture and Tourism told newsmen that the Centre had twice initiated steps to declare Majuli Island as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and spend about Rs 15 crore for development of tourism in the island.
Meanwhile, talking to newsmen, Sonowal said that Government of Assam should send the proposal for the World Heritage Site status for Majuli in a proper format and according to the guidelines of the UNESCO.
In the month of January, the Ministry of Culture had written to the UNESCO and it replied that the proposal was not according to guidelines. The State government was intimated about it but so far there is no response. In February, the Ministry of Culture had organised a workshop for the benefit of the State government, but things have not moved much since, he said.
There is an urgent need for proper coordination between the Centre and Government of Assam regarding Majuli Island and the State government should also send its report timely.
About the flood situation, Sonowal said that at least nine Assembly segment under his Parliamentary constituency are currently affected by floods and there is a need for huge resource mobilisation for rehabilitation. The State and Central governments should coordinate,� he repeated.