Guwahati, Sept. 5: The Centre will provide representation to the regionís political leaders in the proposed Brahmaputra River Valley Authority to give it more teeth.
Official sources said a review of the functioning of the Brahmaputra Board found that non-inclusion of political leaders or the stakeholdersí will in decision-making was one of its shortcomings.
The ministry of water resources, which prepared the proposal on restructuring of Brahmaputra Board, said by involving the highest political executives of the region in the decision-making process, it is expected that the needs of the region will be met adequately.
The proposal seeks to restructure the Brahmaputra Board into a new entity called the Brahmaputra River Valley Authority.
The proposed authority will have two parts, a policy-making apex council and an executive wing.
The authority will involve top political executives of the northeastern states and one of the chief ministers shall be the deputy chairman of the council on a rotational basis in alphabetical order.
The governing council will have the Union minister for water resources and chief ministers and water ministers of the northeastern states. The proposal has been sent to the authorities for views and inputs before it is finalised.
Sources said the review of the board found that it lacked the mandate for basin level planning for integrated water resources development and management, lack of ownership of plans by the state governments, overwhelming emphasis on flood and drainage work and apparent concentration of the work done by the board in Assam.
The authority will promote and co-ordinate effective planning and management for the efficient and sustainable use of water, land and other natural resources of the Brahmaputra basin.
After the plan is adopted, the basin states will be required to ensure that their plans confirm to the masterplan. It shall operate within the limits of the Brahmaputra Valley and set up territorial offices to handle the integrated planning of water resources. A fund will be created to finance water resources in the member states and the Centre shall be its sole custodian. The authority will be encouraged to be financially self-sufficient and launch joint ventures.
The ministry said the authority would integrate the activities of the Central Water Commission in the Northeast and those of the current Brahmaputra Board.
It said the transformation of the Brahmaputra Board into the Brahmaputra River Valley Authority will require extensive amendment of the current 1980 Brahmaputra Board Act and shall have to be done in consultation with the law ministry.