Guwahati, Thursday, May 24, 2018
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2 material banks being set up to tackle floods
AJIT PATOWARY
 GUWAHATI, May 23 - The State Revenue Department has sanctioned two material banks for storing flood fighting materials. One of them is being set up in Majuli at a cost of Rs 4.2 crore, while the other is coming up at Basistha in the city at a cost of Rs 5.5 crore.

These material banks are sought to be set up as pilot projects and depending on their success, nine more material banks, including one in the Barak valley, would be set up.

An amount of Rs 1.2 crore has been earmarked for the building of the Majuli material bank, while the rest of the amount – that is Rs 3 crore – sanctioned for this material bank is being used to procure flood fighting materials. For the Basistha material bank, an amount of Rs 1.5 crore has been allocated for its building and the remaining amount of Rs 4 crore has been allocated for procuring the flood fighting materials.

Disclosing this, sources in the Water Resources Department (WRD) of the State told The Assam Tribune that these banks are envisaged in the wake of hardship faced repeatedly during the past decades in mobilizing resources for flood fighting in emergency situations. These banks will ensure storage of required flood fighting materials at specific locations and will thus eliminate the problem of getting flood fighting operations delayed, source said.

Meanwhile, the WRD has completed 13 of the 38 schemes it had undertaken in the 2017-18 financial year under the State Plan head. The 38 schemes were undertaken at an estimated cost of Rs 57.7 crore.

Sources in the WRD said the surveys on rejuvenation of the Kolong river and construction of express highways along the banks of the Brahmaputra were the two of the 13 schemes completed so far under the State Plan head undertaken during the financial year. The reports of these surveys have been sent to the State government for further action, sources said.

The State government also approved six schemes meant for Majuli protection at an estimated cost of Rs 20 crore in the same financial year. Works on these schemes are in progress, sources said.

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