GUWAHATI, May 17 - All the breaches caused by the 2017 floods in the embankments maintained by the State’s Water Resources Department (WRD), were plugged by April 30 last. The WRD has spent an amount of Rs 90.53 crore on closing these breaches.Though the breaches are now closed, the works to remove the catalyst factors that led to the breaches are still on. It is expected that within a few days these works could be completed. But it is certain that there is no opening in any of the dykes maintained by the State’s Water Resources Department, claimed highly placed sources in the WRD.
Sources told this newspaper further that 26 breaches in the WRD dykes occurred during the 2017 floods and the Department could close 25 of them on its own, while one breach was plugged together with a district administration jointly.
Giving the district wise break-up of the breaches in the departmental dykes, sources in the Department said that the floods of 2017 led to ten breaches in the WRD dykes in Majuli, three breaches in each of Lakhimpur and Karimganj, two breaches in Nagaon and one breach in each of Dhemaji, Darrang, Nalbari, Barpeta, Baksa, Udalguri, Hailakandi and Morigaon. The WRD had to work together with the Morigaon district administration to close the lone breach in the district.
Moreover, over 80 per cent progress has been made, on an average, in the works to restore the 71 slightly damaged WRD dykes.
The State Revenue Department sanctioned an amount of Rs 250 crore for breach closing and restoration works during the 2017-’18 fiscal.
In the second phase, the Revenue Department has also approved, in principle, 108 restoration schemes at an estimated cost of Rs 171 crore. Works on these schemes are expected to be taken up after the ensuing flood season, sources said.
The Department has also taken up 48 flood and erosion management schemes at an estimated cost of Rs 199 crore in the 2017-’18 fiscal with support from the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD). Works on these schemes are also on, sources said.
Sources, however, maintain that around 53 openings in some bundhs, executed and maintained by other agencies like the DRDA and the Agriculture Department, are still there to be closed. Dibrugarh district has the highest share of 19 openings on such bundhs on the Burhidihing river.