Delhi:Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh was presented here today a Research Report on Assam Floods, prepared by the Delhi Alumni Association of Assam (DAAA).
While appreciating the initiative by the academicians of Assam region, Dr Jitendra Singh said, floods in Northeast, particularly in the States of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur have virtually become a perpetual phenomenon, occurring year after year, and causing tremendous loss to lives and property. A serious and comprehensive future strategy to avoid such occurrence again and again is urgently called for, he said.
Dr Jitendra Singh disclosed that the Ministry of Northeast (DoNER) has, on its own initiative, helped in setting up “Brahmaputra Study Centre” at Guhati University, Guwahati. The Centre has also started functioning, he said, and informed that the first major research study, already initiated for the last few months, deals with the ways and means to control and prevent the occurrence of floods. For this purpose, he said, experts of international repute are also being involved for their inputs.
The Modi Government, Dr Jitendra Singh said, has always been in the forefront in coming to the aid of flood related hardships of the people of Northeast. This, he said, is borne out by the fact that last year, in the month of July / August, when there was extraordinary damage caused as a result of unprecedented rainfall, Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself undertook a visit to the Northeast, where he personally reviewed the flood situation, particularly pertaining to the States of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur, and also announced on-the-spot financial assistance of Rs.2,000 crores.
Dr Jitendra Singh suggested to the members of Alumni Association to share their findings and inferences with NITI Aayog also, since now there is an exclusive NITI Aayog Forum for Northeast which was launched on the 10th of April this year. He said, he would arrange a meeting to discuss the findings of the research report by the senior officers of the Ministry of Northeast (DoNER), who can then, at their level, also discuss the same with the representatives of the NITI Aayog.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, a number of options have been suggested in the past for prevention of flood-like situation. These include embankments along river Brahmaputra, dredging for de-siltation in large rivers, construction of a high gravity concrete Dam, etc. However, he said, a final call can be taken only after studying the various aspects , including feasibility, cost-effectiveness and sustainable viability of any future arrangement.
Members of the Delhi Alumni Association of Assam who called on Dr Jitendra Singh included Krishna Sarma, Meenakshi Sarma Dabas, Sandeep Phukan Deputy Editor “The Hindu”, Rituparna Bhuian from “Network18 Channel” and others.