Guwahati, Thursday, May 18, 2017
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Rains, litigations hit flood control works
AJIT PATOWARY
 GUWAHATI, May 17 - Rains, litigations and tardy administrative approval have emerged as major obstacles in completing many State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) flood control schemes in the State, which include plugging the breaches in the embankments, strengthening these structures and implementation of anti-erosion measures.

However, the State Water Resources Department (WRD) exudes confidence of completing all the remaining SDRF schemes before the onset of monsoon. Its engineers and contractors are working day and night to complete the schemes, said highly placed sources in the State Government.

Of the 98 first phase schemes initiated under the SDRF this year, 75 could be completed by April 30, 2017. And among the 70 schemes taken up in the second phase, about 30 could be initiated in the month of April last.

It needs mention here that 34 breaches in the embankments and some severe damages caused to the embankments and the river banks by floodwaters were taken up for repair, restoration, etc., under these SDRF schemes.

Initially, March 31, 2017 was fixed as the deadline for completion of these schemes and later April 30, 2017 was fixed as the revised deadline for the purpose.

In Sivasagar, some court cases have been affecting the progress of implementation of some of these schemes. Rains also have been playing the spoilsport in the district. Six schemes were taken up in the district, and of them, only one could be completed so far, sources said.

Eight schemes were taken up in Sonitpur district and of them three have been completed. Implementation of five of the schemes was delayed because of land-related disputes and the problems arising out of the abnormally low rates quoted by some contractors.

In Nagaon district, four schemes were taken up and implementation of one of them is delayed because of re-tendering and land-related problems.

In Dhubri district, one work remains to be completed because of heavy rainfall activities and submergence of the paddy fields from where earth was sought to be procured.

In the Barak valley, 13 schemes were taken up and of them only two could be completed so far due to rains and land-related disputes. The valley has so far received about 30 per cent of its annual average rainfall, sources said.

Of the second phase schemes, there are five major schemes. These include the closure of an about 700-metre-long breach on the Brahmaputra embankment at Moamari in Morigaon district; erosion protection work using RCC porcupines at Dakhin Ahatguri in Majuli; erosion protection work at Panikhaiti Sontoli under Chaygaon Assembly constituency; erosion protection, channelisation and embankment restoration at Bahari Baghbor in Barpeta district and Dhubri Fakirganj erosion protection and channelisation work.

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