Nod to state flood control proposal soon

New institution to replace Brahmaputra Board

Union Minister for Water Resources Uma Bharati looks elesewhere when Chief Minister Mukul Sangma introduces Deputy Chief Minister incharge Water Resource Rowell Lyngdoh to her at the start of the 7th meeting of Bramhaputra Board in city on Wednesday. (Photo: Sanjib Bhattacharjee).

SHILLONG: The Centre is working on the flood management programme for two Shillong rivers — Wahumkhrah and Umshyrpi-on fast track mode, said Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Uma Bharati.
The Union Minister, who was in city to attend the 7th meeting of the High Powered   Review Board of  Bramhaputra Board held on Wednesday, admitted that  the Meghalaya Chief Minister has expressed concern over the delay in the approval of the project.
Bharati,  while speaking to reporters after the meeting, assured that the proposal will be given seal of approval at the earliest.
It may be mentioned that the State Water Resources department has submitted a Rs 50-crore Detailed Project Report (DPR) for flood management programme for the protection of two rivers.
Earlier,  speaking at the meeting she announced that a new institution will replace the 34-year-old Brahmaputra Board to take up integrated water resource planning and management in the Brahmaputra basin.
“Suggestions for reviving the Board will be taken from the  seven Northeastern states and added that there is a need for a new approach to make the board more efficient,” she said .
Terming Bramhaputra as an elder brother of river Ganga, she said that the Ministry has same focus for Bramhaputra river as it has for River Ganga.
She informed that a decision has been taken to constitute a committee for reviving the Board and the committee will suggest necessary steps and measures for the purpose.
“We have to re-design our approach,” she said, adding   that she is also trying  to make the Ministry fully online for transparency and efficiency.
Asked about the controversial construction of big dams in the region, Bharati said: “I think this has to be dealt with the sentiments also because I know the northeast. I also have the same kind of temperament and characteristic which Assam and the northeast have. It is not only the economic or technical sides, sentiments are also in it, and the power ministry is taking its view.”
On cleaning of the Brahmaputra, Bharati said that since the Ganga and the Brahmaputra have the same source of origin and cleaning work on the Ganga has begun, the Ganga cleaning project would have its impact on the Brahmaputra as well.
Later, Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma admitted that re-structuring of the Board is crucial for the North East region while affirming that the Bramhaputra river can give a lot of benefits to the people of the region.
The Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju, who was also present in the meeting, said that the North-East is water abundant region  and stressed on the need to manage water for the region.