Demand for panel to monitor flood projects

Spl Correspondent
NEW DELHI, Sept 22 – Expressing dismay at the rampant corruption in State Flood Control Department, the Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR) has been moved to explore the possibility of setting up an expert committee to monitor the implementation of major flood management and anti-erosion projects.

This suggestion was made by a delegation of United Erosion Resistance Struggle Forum (UERSF), a platform of over 12 bodies, to Secretary, MoWR, Umesh N Panjiar, when they called on him on Tuesday to draw the attention of the shoddy work being carried out by the State Flood Control Department. They further alleged gross misuse of funds released for flood management projects.

The delegation was told that Rs 62 crore was released for the projects.

A spokesman of the Forum and former AGP Lok Sabha MP, Sarbananda Sonowal, who was part of the delegation, said they have suggested constitution of an expert group comprising experts drawn from IIT, Guwahati, engineering, technical institutes, Gauhati and Dibrugarh Universities.

Sonowal further disclosed that they have been told by the Secretary that two major projects – Dibrugarh and Palasbari Town Protection Scheme – have been cleared by the MoWR for funding by the Asian Development Bank. The proposal is currently lying with Planning Commission for further clearance.

Meanwhile, expressing their disappointment at the Prime Minister for his failure to keep his assurance, the UERSF has alleged that not much has been done to protect Rohmoria, Dibrugarh and Tinsukia. The forum staged a demonstration at Jantar Mantar here on Wednesday pressing for solution to their problem.

Source: The Assam Tribune