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No proposal to declare State floods as national problem

By Spl Correspondent

NEW DELHI, Feb 26 � In a significant development, the Centre has clarified that there is no proposal under consideration to declare the flood and erosion in Assam as a national calamity.

�Currently, no proposal about declaring flood and erosion in Assam as a natural calamity is under consideration of the Government of India,� Union Minister of State for Water Resources, Prof Sanwar Lal Jat said in a Lok Sabha reply.

There was much confusion over the Centre�s stand ever since the then Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh declared that flood problem may be treated as a national calamity in the face of the demand for declaring the flood and erosion problem as a national problem.

The Centre also washed its hands off the issue of mitigating the flood problem, with Jat clarifying that flood control projects are formulated and implemented by the State Government, as the subject falls within the purview of the State. The physical and financial progress of the projects funded under the Flood Management Programme is monitored by the Brahmaputra Board.

Meanwhile, in a separate reply, the Minister said that only 25 per cent of the embankments in Assam are safe, while 53.6 per cent are vulnerable and 21.3 per cent extremely vulnerable. The State Government had constituted a committee to examine the existing embankment system of the Brahmaputra and Barak Valleys.

�The majority of the embankments are vulnerable and need immediate maintenance measures,� Jat said.

The Assam Government has provided the latest position of the outlived embankments and dykes of the Brahmaputra river in Barpeta district.

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