The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Rider for river funds

New Delhi, Dec. 18: The Centre today assured West Bengal of all help in tackling the menace of Ganga erosion but demanded that the state send a utilisation certificate for the funds allocated to it. Water resources minister Arjun Sethi has agreed to meet an all-party delegation tomorrow to discuss the matter.

The assurance was given to Congress and Left members from the state who raised the issue during zero hour in the Lok Sabha, expressing concern over the dangers posed by erosion.

Accusing the Centre of not providing adequate funds, Moinul Hassan of the CPM said the problem was acute in Nadia, Murshidabad and Malda districts. The Congress’ Priya Ranjan Das Munshi said the Dakshineswar temple would soon be submerged if nothing was done.

Sethi said he did not agree that nothing had been done. The Centre has approved Rs 30 crore, of which Rs 17.8 crore has been released to the state. “It is incumbent upon the state government to utilise the funds. We require a utilisation certificate, but that has not come,” the minister said.

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