GUWAHATI, Oct 1 � Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today requested Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to expedite the process of setting up of the Brahmaputra River Valley Authority (BRVA) as a long-term mitigation measure on both the Brahmaputra and Barak river basins. He also sought an assistance of Rs 2,010 crore for repairing the damaged infrastructure.
While apprising the Union Home Minister about the damages caused by this year�s flood, particularly the latest deluge in Kamrup, Kamrup (Metro) and Goalpara districts, Gogoi pointed out that erosion posed a greater threat than flood in the State. �Flood causes a temporary setback, but erosion causes permanent damage. So far 4 lakh hectares of land have been gobbled up by the Brahmaputra and Barak rivers in the past 50 years, with the rate of erosion being 8,000 hectare per year,� he said, adding that the State Government has given thrust on reclamation of land to minimise the pressure on the existing land in the wake of rising population. In the same breath, Gogoi requested Singh to consider the State Government�s long-standing demand for treating erosion as a natural calamity.
The Chief Minister, while lauding the efforts of SDRF and NDRF in rescuing marooned people in the recent flood, made a plea to the Union Minister for three additional battalions of NDRF for the Northeast, two battalions exclusively for Assam. �There is a need for permanent stationing of NDRF personnel in the flood-prone areas so that they can reach out to the people at the time of exigency,� he said.
Gogoi also made a plea to Singh for a chapter of the National Institute of Disaster Management in the State. �If the setting up of the National Institute of Disaster Management is not possible, then a one-time financial assistance of Rs 50 crore may be given for a State Institute of Disaster Management,� he added.
The State Government in its memorandum sought Rs 2,010 crore for damaged infrastructure which include roads and bridges, dwelling houses, health centres and school buildings; Rs 660 crore for rescue and relief operations and Rs 6,700 crore as special assistance that include Rs 3,500 crore for raising and strengthening of embankments and Rs 1,000 crore for mitigating of flood problem in the Guwahati city.