GUWAHATI, March 31 - All the major political parties of the State are of the view that flood and erosion should be declared as national problems and the Government of India should take effective steps for the solution of the problems. However, none of the parties could spell out what they would do if voted to power in the State to deal with the problems.
The Assam Tribune tried to get the views of the parties in the run up to the Assembly elections and every party only tried to shift the responsibility to the Centre and the leaders of the National parties could not say as to why the problems were not declared as national problems when their parties were in power at the Centre.
When contacted, president of the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC), Anjan Dutta said that it is beyond the means of the State Government to deal with the problems of flood and erosion. He said that the Centre should declare flood and erosion as national problems and effective steps must be taken to deal with it. He said that erosion should be included in the list of natural calamities so that the erosion affected people can get benefits under the National Disaster Response Fund. He revealed that the Chief Minister, Tarun Gogoi has been writing to the Centre on the issue, while, the APCC also took up the issue with the All India Congress Committee. However, he did not spell out that why flood and erosion were not declared as national problems during the period of Congress led Governments at the Centre.
The BJP�s chief ministerial candidate Sarbananda Sonowal is of the view that dredging of the beds of the river Brahmaputra and its tributaries is a must to deal with the problem of flood and erosion. He said that the problems should be considered as national problems. He said that dredging of the river beds would not only improve the flow of water but also improve navigation. He, however, could not give an assurance as to when the BJP-led Government at the Centre would declare flood and erosion as national problems.
All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) general secretary Aminul Islam said that the Centre should declare the problems as national problems and short and long term measures must be taken immediately. He pointed out that the Government of India had announced special package when Jammu and Kashmir was affected by floods, but no such package was announced when Assam was ravaged by flood and erosion. He pointed out that the AIUDF, on its part, had raised the issues both in the State Assembly and Parliament on a number of times.
AGP president Atul Bora also echoed the same feeling and demanded that flood and erosion should be declared as national problems. He said that if the AGP-BJP-BPF alliance comes to power, pressure would be put on the Centre to take up short and long term schemes to deal with the problems.