GUWAHATI, April 20 - Though major political parties differ on most issues, particularly during the elections, they admit the fact that it is not possible for the State government alone to deal with the problems of flood and erosion and the Centre must come forward for a permanent solution of the problems. However, they are ambiguous on their stand on the demand raised by different organisations for declaring flood and erosion as national problem.
When contacted by The Assam Tribune, Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) president Ripun Bora said though flood is a state subject, it is not possible for a State like Assam to go for permanent solution of the problem because of its magnitude and the Central government must come forward to deal with the same. He pointed out that the Centre would have to provide adequate funds as well as technical expertise to find a permanent solution of the problems .
Asked why successive Congress governments at the Centre failed to take effective steps to deal with the problem, Bora claimed that during the time of Dr Manmohan Singh as the Prime Minister, flood and erosion in Assam were included in the national agenda and a series of measures were initiated. He said during the Congress regime the use of geo-bag concept was introduced for the first time in Assam to deal with flood and erosion. After the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government came to power at the Centre, the fund flow to Assam to deal with the problem also stopped, he said, alleging that the BJP was not serious in dealing with the issue.
On the other hand, the BJP is claiming that long term measures have been initiated for the solution of the problem during the NDA rule. State BJP spokesman Rupam Goswami said, �mere declaration of flood as a national problem would not help Assam. In fact, the government has formed a National Disaster Management Authority, which proved that the problems are dealt with as national problems.�
Goswami said for the first time, an ambitious project of digging the bed of the river Brahmaputra has been taken up and this would reduce the problem to a great extent. He, however, admitted that completion of the project would take some time. He said that in the last couple of years, effective steps have been taken to streamline the system of providing relief to the people affected by flood and erosion, and after many years, the affected people got adequate relief on time. �This proves that the government is very much concerned about the sufferings of the people affected by floods,� he added.