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Contractors sound flood warning

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By OUR CORRESPONDENT
  • Published 26.05.13
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Guwahati, May 25: Contractors associated with Assam water resource department today warned that the flood problem this year could be more serious as 3,676km-long embankments were weak and not in a position to withstand floods.

President of All Assam Water Resource Contractors Association Muhi Borgohain said here today the water resource department had reconstructed 78 embankments with Rs 127 crore from the state disaster response fund but many newly constructed ones were not yet equipped to withstand the floods.

“According to information, the water resource department had submitted a scheme to the state disaster management authority for renovation of the 78 damaged embankments. But the authority delayed in releasing the funds. Work started in March and was completed only recently. However, nothing has been done to strengthen them with the use of stone, bamboo etc. Hence, we believe that floods this year can be more serious as these embankments may breach easily,” Borgohain said.

The association also alleged that because of the lack of initiative from the state government, central schemes meant for mitigation of floods in Assam could not be implemented yet.

“The Centre in 2005 had proposed “unlimited funding” for flood management with reconstruction of embankments, protection of towns, construction of sluice gate and drains. But because of lack of proper initiative from the state government, schemes under the plan were yet to be sanctioned,” he said.

He also said work on some embankments was delayed because of non-acquisition of land.

Floods are an annual disaster and the problem is more acute in Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Sonitpur, Kamrup, Barpeta and Dhubri districts. Over 120 people died last year in the state because of floods.