GUWAHATI, March 2 � The pace of the work of erecting boulder spurs to protect Majuli from the fury of the Brahmaputra is slow. The Brahmaputra Board has undertaken construction of eleven spurs for the purpose and construction of five of these structures is going on, said Minister of State for Water Resources Rajiv Lochan Pegu in the State Assembly here today.
The Governments both in the State and at the Centre have assumed responsibility for the protection of the river island in matters related with granting UNESCO World Heritage Site status to it, the Minister said.
The Minister was replying to a call attention motion moved by Anjan Dutta (Congress) on the alleged embezzlement of funds by the Brahmaputra Board in the name of protecting the island from the fury of the Brahmaputra Board.
He said due to problems in carrying boulders from Golaghat and other places via the riverine route, the progress of implementation of this work has become slow. Moreover, the Board is suffering from dearth of technical persons.
The non-realization of the State�s dream to get the North Eastern Water Resources Authority (NEWRA) has made the State Government press for revamping the Brahmaputra Board and the Chief Minister has placed a proposal before the Central Government for the purpose, the Minister said.
Though the Brahmaputra Board is a not an executing agency, the State gets some relief if it goes to execute any project. The State is relieved of its responsibility to pay 10 per cent of its share in implementing the Centrally-sponsored projects, if the Board is engaged to execute the project. Further, release of the funds meant for the project is also released quickly in that case, the Minister said.
The State has pleaded for more autonomy to the Board and asked for filling up the vacancies in the Board. He also informed the House that the Government has proposed a road bridge to link Majuli with the mainland of the State.