NEW DELHI, Sept 23 � The fate of Brahmaputra Board hangs in balance as the Centre is mulling winding up the Board and creation of a new body for flood management.
The issue figured at a meeting convened by Union Minister of Water Resources Uma Bharti with Minister for Skill Development, Youth Affairs and Sports Sarbananda Sonowal, DoNER Minister Gen (retd) VK Singh and Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju.
The meeting was called to take stock of the devastating floods in Assam and Meghalaya. The Minister for Water Resources (MoWR) is likely to tour the affected areas of the State before October 30.
Sources said that both Sonowal and Rijiju were of the view that the Brahmaputra Board has failed to discharge its responsibility and all its efforts at managing floods has come a cropper.
Emerging from the meeting, Sonowal said that he has updated the Minister about the problems faced on account of flood wreaked by Brahmaputra and Barak rivers and its tributaries. He mentioned about the floods leaving lakhs of people homeless, destruction of crops and erosion.
The meeting also discussed creation of a separate organisation for flood and erosion management, he said.
Sources said Bharti expressed concern regarding the flood situation of Assam and underscored the need for special attention for safeguarding Majuli Island. The MoWR assured of all help to the States.
Meanwhile, reacting to the devastating floods, the All Assam Students� Union today demanded flood relief work on the same line as undertaken in Jammu and Kashmir.
AASU adviser Samujjal Bhattacharya demanded that a Central team should immediately visit Assam. The Army should be deployed immediately and flood relief and rescue operations should be conducted on a warfooting.
Bhattacharya alleged that the State government has again failed to take precautionary measures to protect the people of the State from floods. The State government ought to have taken special measures for protection of Guwahati city, he opined.