Staff Correspondent JORHAT, March 6 - Irked over the slow progress of work related to protection of Majuli island from massive erosion by the Brahmaputra, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has given an ultimatum to the private firm – TK Engineering – to complete the project within May this year on a war-footing or face legal action.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal unveiling the plaque for laying the foundation stone of Majuli Centre of Assam State Warehouse Ltd at Dariapar, Majuli on Wednesday. – UB Photos
Sonowal, who is on a two-day visit to his constituency – Majuli– today reviewed the progress of the works of the Majuli protection dyke project at the Circuit House at Garmur with senior officials of concerned Government department officials and representatives of the private firm.
A district administration official told The Assam Tribune this evening that the Chief Minister expressed his severe dissatisfaction over the sluggish pace of implementation of the Rs 199-crore project covering 27 km which was undertaken to check large-scale erosion that had rendered a large number of people homeless and also led to loss of cultivating land.
Sonowal stated in the meeting that the project was also aimed at saving the Vaishnavite satras that practised and preserved the art and culture preached by the saint, philosopher and social reformer, Srimanta Sankardev, over the centuries, the official stated.
Sonowal asked the Brahmaputra Board Chairman Rajiv Yadav and the project-in-charge of TK Engineering to work in unison to complete the works before the onset of the monsoon season so that people of Majuli could get relief during perennial floods and from heavy erosion.
The official said that the Chief Minister stated that the Government will be initiating legal action against the firm if the latter failed to complete the project within the deadline of May 2019.
Sonowal directed the Tingkhong MLA Bimal Bora, who has been deputed by him to look after all ongoing schemes and projects under way in Majuli, to keep a close watch on TK Engineering’s implementation of the project. He also directed the project-in-charge of the firm to stay in the Brahmaputra island all along and oversee the works to meet the deadline.
The official stated that the Chief Minister further asked the State Water Resources Department to install geo-bags at vulnerable points in Majuli and also erect porcupine and undertake other flood mitigating measures to save the residents from the destruction caused by floods.
Commissioner of Panchayat and Rural Development Dr P Ashok Babu was also present in the meeting.
Earlier in the day, the Chief Minister laid foundation stones for a slew of projects that included setting up of a model village in the island by the Handloom and Textiles department, establishment of a yarn bank, establishment of polytechnic institute and a warehouse having capacity to store 1000 tonnes items.
He also distributed sanction letters of allotment of land to 1327 landless families, free solar lamps to poor families and free bicycles, umbrellas to girl students of poor families. Free sewing machines were distributed to women of poor families.