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AAU strategy to stem Assam floods
- Rs 7000cr scheme proposal to Centre

Jorhat, July 25: Assam Agricultural University vice-chancellor K.M. Bujarbaruah today outlined strategies to compensate the losses in agriculture and other sectors caused by floods in Assam over the years including the current one, besides the immediate, mid-term and long-term strategies to be adopted with support from the Centre at a brainstorming session on flood mitigation strategies here.

The university is conceiving a scheme of around Rs 7,000 crore to be submitted to the Centre through the office of J.S. Samra, chief executive officer of National Rainfed Area Authority, which is under the Planning Commission.

Samra chaired the meet today, helping the flood issue to be flagged at the national level on one hand and flood mitigation support on the other.

Samra said the Centre and NRAA were concerned about how to effectively tackle the flood situation in a state like Assam the way it has been involved in developing and implementing a drought management strategy in the country, particularly in places like Bundelkhand which received a package of about Rs 7,400 crore through the initiation taken by the authority.

Samra said the present discussion at AAU was the first round of discussion in the series after which they would also take the views of other organisations like IIT, Brahmaputra Board, and others before finalising the flood mitigation plan in consultation with the state government.

He also laid emphasis on crop diversification, water harvesting, irrigation, erosion control, desilting of rivers, strengthening of embankments and roads besides taking measures in the crop sector through flood mitigation.

A flood strategy roadmap taking into consideration all the inputs during the discussion was presented by NRAA technical expert (water management) K.D. Sharma.

Inputs given by directors from National Bureau of Soil Survey and Land Use Planning, Jorhat centre, Central Inland Fishery Research Institute Regional Centre, Guwahati, Central Rice Research Institute at Gerua, Kamrup, Rain Forest Research Institute, Jorhat, and representatives from International Rice Research Institute, the Philippines, were also taken into account while developing the strategy.

S.V. Ngachan, director of ICAR Research Complex for North Eastern Hill Region, Meghalaya, stressed the requirement of contingency plans.

Jorhat deputy commissioner Ramesh Chand Jain put discussed positive impact of desilting of minor rivers for flood mitigation as well as the effective use of irrigation facilities already existing, particularly for rabi crops.

He also mentioned the need to develop technology for early breeding of fish seed and other pisciculture issues.


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