GUWAHATI, Jan 18 � �More than floods, erosion is a serious problem in Assam as it results in permanent land loss and cripples a family. It is an area where much importance has to be accorded by the Central Government and the Brahmaputra Board,� said Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi at the 6th High Powered Review Board Meeting of Brahmaputra Board at the Circuit House in the city here today.
Dwelling at length on the serious problem of erosion, Gogoi said that more than 8 lakh people have been rendered homeless and over 4 lakh hectares washed away by the Brahmaputra and called for a holistic approach towards solving the problem.
The Chief Minister lamented that though the Brahmaputra Board had been set up as a multi-purpose body, it has confined its activities to limited works. �The Board must gear up its activities in a big way and come up with projects and schemes to control the twin problems of floods and erosion in the State and the North East as a whole,� he added.
Gogoi urged the Brahmaputra Board and the CWC to come up with a strategy as adopted by the Bangladesh Government to channelize the river for mitigating the problem of erosion. �The strategy to mitigate the problem of erosion of Brahmaputra river called Jamuna in Bangladesh has to be replicated by us to contain the erosion problem in Assam and elsewhere in the region,� he added. The Chief Minister who had been given a presentation by the Water Resources Department in Bangladesh during his visit there last year, said he would arrange a meeting if required.
Speaking on the occasion, Union Minister for Water Resources Pawan Kumar Bansal said though the Central Government has no role to play in water related issues concerning the States as water is a state subject, it has been acting as a catalyst for ironing out the differences. Bansal called for a holistic approach towards integrated development of water resources and management of ground water systems.