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Centre committed to solve flood, erosion problems: Athawale

 DHEMAJI, Aug 27 - Union Minister of State for Social Justice & Empowerment, Ramdas Athawale today said that the Central government was committed to take up flood and erosion problems of Assam and a few other States of the country.

 Attending a mass public rally at Sengajan Majorbari High School playground in Dhemaji district on Tuesday, Athawale said that Narendra Modi-led NDA government has taken steps for economic empowerment of the rural farmers. He said that the Union government is considering flood and erosion as farmers’ problems, so that it is committed to solve the problems in a scientific way.

“Our government is committed to ensure social justice for the poor farmers. I have come to know your problems and assure you for its solution. I shall discuss the problems with Assam government and take up it with Central Water Resources Ministry for follow up measures”, the Union Minister affirmed.

State Minister for Social Welfare Pramila Rani Brahma, in her address laid stress on scientific study on the river basin to ascertain the cause of recurring flood and erosion in Dhemaji, Lakhimpur and Majuli districts and chalk out a joint action plan by the Department of Water Resources, Agriculture and Soil erosion. She said that the State government has earmarked about Rs 50 crore for flood and erosion protection works for those districts, which she termed “inadequate”.

Speaking the rally, Jonai MLA Bhuban Pegu said that the State government has constituted a five-member expert committee involving engineers from different departments to conduct systematic study of the unabated flood and erosion problems in Dhemaji. He opined that erosion problems caused by Lali and Brahmaputra was taking a serious turn on the right bank after the river course was controlled by erecting boulder spars at Dibrugarh, on its left bank.

Pegu informed that the five-member expert committee would conduct a study on the 70-km long Lali, Siang and Brahmaputra river banks on the north bank and prepare a project proposal for its protection.

According to Pegu, technology and manpower is available for protection of the erosion problems in the State, but the State government has no money of its own for funding.

The Lali, Siang, Brahmaputra and Gainandi rivers in Dhemaji have eroded several thousand acres of fertile cropland, while it has dispersed a large number of rural people during last two decades. It is predicted that the rivers would grip a larger portion of human habitation in the district within the next five years, if no effective protection measures are initiated by the Central government.

The rally was organised by Ganatantrik Nagarik Suraksha Manch of Dhemaji with the active collaboration of 17 community organisations. The main objective of the rally was to make consensus with the local communities for raising a string demand to the authority for scientific solution of the flood and erosion problems in the district.

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