GUWAHATI, Sept 3 - Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today assured that he would urge the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister to take immediate steps for a permanent solution to the flood and erosion problems. However, at the same time, he said that on its part, the State Government would have to extend all possible help to the Centre and both the governments would have to work in a coordinated manner for finding a permanent solution of the problems.
Talking to The Assam Tribune today, Sonowal, who visited various flood-affected areas of the State for an on-the-spot assessment of the situation along with Member of Parliament RP Sarma, expressed the view that there is urgent need for initiating the process of finding a permanent solution to the problems of flood and erosion. He said that the Brahmaputra Board failed to live up to its expectations in dealing with the problems and there is an urgent need for relooking into the functioning of the Board. He said that he would request the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister to start the process of formulating plans and policies for dealing with the problems. The engineers of State Government departments will also have to extend their help in this regard, he added.
On his visits to the flood-affected areas, Sonowal said that he would shortly submit a detailed report on it to the Prime Minister. He said that in the last few days, he had visited Sadiya area and Majuli river island. He said erosion has become a major problem in Sadiya and a team of the Union Water Resources Ministry would visit the area soon for an on-the-spot assessment of the situation.
On the situation in Majuli, Sonowal said that even the 100-bed hospital in the river island has been inundated, causing immense hardship to the people.
Sonowal called upon the State Government to provide adequate relief materials to the affected people and said that immediately after the flood water recedes, steps should be taken to rehabilitate the displaced people. He said that the Central Government has already released its share of the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) and the money should be utilized properly by the State Government for relief and rehabilitation of the flood and erosion affected people. He assured that the Centre would provide additional funds, if required, but the State must ensure that the money is utilized properly for the benefit of the affected people.