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Gogoi plea to Modi on floods

Guwahati, June 29: Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi has sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention to expedite the setting up of the proposed Brahmaputra River Valley Authority by revamping and restructuring the existing Brahmaputra Board as soon as possible.

On setting up of the Brahmaputra River Valley Authority, official sources said it has been going on for the past two years or so, but nothing has materialised.

Dispur had placed its requisite views before Centre in 2012.

Sources said the Centre would provide representation to the region’s political leaders in the proposed Brahmaputra River Valley Authority to give it more teeth.

The sources said a review of the functioning of the Brahmaputra Board found that non-inclusion of political leaders or the stakeholders’ will in decision-making was one of its shortcomings.

Gogoi in his letter to Modi said the creation of the authority is of paramount importance to tackle the perpetual flood and erosion problem and water-related hazards in Assam and the Northeast as a whole.

He said though the Centre had announced creation of the Northeast Water Resources Authority to harness the vast water resources of the Northeast in 2004, it did not materialise because of objections raised by Arunachal Pradesh. “Till this matter is resolved, the Centre may constitute the BRVA to tackle the flood and erosion problems in the region,” he said.

Gogoi has also assured Union minister for health and family welfare Harsh Vardhan that land would be provided to set up AIIMS-like institutes under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana in every state.

The chief minister in the letter said the state government is identifying some suitable plots measuring around 200 acres. “The details of locations will be communicated to you very shortly,” the letter said.

He assured Vardhan that the government would provide land free of cost and other required infrastructure like roads, water supply and power connectivity.

Gogoi also requested Modi to facilitate the establishment of an IIM in Guwahati. There is already one in Shillong.