| Chief minister Tarun Gogoi addresses the seminar at the secretariat on Tuesday. Picture by UB Photos |
Guwahati, May 22: Dispur has moved the Centre through the DoNER ministry for setting up a centre to collect hydrological data with German help to ensure effective planning and execution of anti-flood and erosion projects in the state.
State water resources minister Rajiv Lochan Pegu disclosed this to The Telegraph on the sidelines of a daylong seminar on low-cost technology for mitigation of flood and riverbank erosion of the river Brahmaputra at the secretariat.
Flood and erosion are two critical problems in the state with chief minister Tarun Gogoi frequently highlighting the latter over the past two years.
Gogoi, additional chief secretary J. Khosla, Flood and River Erosion Management Agency of Assam CEO Ravi Shankar Prasad, IIT faculty member Chandan Mahanta and ADB consultant Knut Oberhangemann attended the seminar. Sources said all the dignitaries stressed the need for capacity building, proper study, innovation and implementation of projects.
Pegu said: “The data collection centre will be set up with the help of German technology. There is the need for such a centre because we depend on institutions like IITs and engineering colleges for analysis of hydrological and hydraulic data. We moved a proposal through the DoNER ministry a few months back. Without proper data, it is difficult to find a proper solution to either flood or erosion. On my part, I have extended the (water resources) department’s maximum support for the river study set up in April and the agency.”
Currently, the water resources department is executing 18 anti-flood and erosion schemes in the state with an investment of over Rs 500 crore. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is currently funding a $120 million agency project in Palashbari, Kaziranga and Dibrugarh.
In his speech, Gogoi accorded top priority to erosion and reclamation of land. Stressing the need for low-cost technology in a developing state like Assam, he said Bangladesh had inched ahead on this front. “Several technologies have been developed but we should go for the one best suited for Assam,” he said.