GUWAHATI, April 11 - The State Government is hoping to complete the process of plugging of the breaches of the embankments, which occurred in the devastating floods last year, by the end of this month. But it is unlikely that one of the breaches will be plugged before the onset of the monsoon season due to lack of coordination between the departments concerned.
Meanwhile, the Government has started the process of procurement of a dredger to correct the courses of parts of River Brahmaputra and a few of its tributaries. But the process will take some time.
Official sources told The Assam Tribune that 26 breaches of embankments occurred during the floods last year and efforts are on to plug all the breaches before the onset of monsoon. Sources said that the progress of plugging of 25 breaches is going on smoothly and the Water Resources Department is hoping to complete the job by the end of this month to mitigate the damage caused by floods. However, the work of plugging of the breach at Laokhowa in Nagaon district is yet to start.
The sources admitted that lack of coordination between the departments concerned delayed the work of plugging of the breach at Laokhowa. The normal practice is that the Deputy Commissioners concerned send the details of the damage to the Revenue and Disaster Management Department for release of funds for repairing the same and the Water Resources Department executes the works of plugging the breaches on the embankments. But the Laokhowa area, where the breach took place, falls under a forest area and the clearance from the Forest Department is still awaited. Under the circumstances, it is unlikely that the breach will be plugged on time.
Meanwhile, sources said that though the Inland Waterways Authority of India has started the work of dredging parts of River Brahmaputra, the aim is to clear the navigation channel and not to deal with floods. On its own, the State Government has started the process of procuring a dredger to correct the courses of the Brahmaputra and a few of its tributaries and the administrative approval for the same has already been issued. An amount of Rs 18 crore will be required to purchase the dredger and if the plan of correcting the courses of the rivers with dredging becomes successful, the Government may go for procuring a few more dredgers in the years to come. But the process of procurement of the dredger will take some time and it is unlikely that the dredging process will start before the ensuing rainy season.