Brahmaputra Board will implement projects worth Rs 207 crore for protection of Majuli from recurrent flood and erosion.

Informing about the decision, chairman of Brahmaputra Board Sanjay Kundu, in a meeting with Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal, said that the Board will take necessary steps to protect the river island.

Taking a strong view of the performance of the Board, the chief minister said that due to absence of Board officials in the field, anti-erosion and flood protection works carried out in Majuli were severely affected.

Further, Sonowal added that unless a permanent office of the Board is set up in Majuli, a sense of alienation would always be there in the minds of the people. He asked the Board to set up a permanent complex which will house an office, a godown and a guest house so that officials could stay in Majuli and execute their work.

The chief minister also requested the chairman of the Board to employ local youth in the complex after empowering them with necessary skills. Sonowal directed the deputy commissioner, Majuli to allot 10 bigha land for setting up the complex, the office of the chief minister informed.

Stating that any work implemented for anti-erosion and flood management will be successful only if the same is backed by proper survey, Sonowal directed the Brahmaputra Board officials to carry out an aerial survey for making a correct assessment of Majuli on April 9. He also informed that the state water resources department and officials of all concerned departments will accompany the Board officials in the survey.

Stating that lack of quality construction companies and quality contractors adversely impact the implementation of such projects in Assam, chief minister Sonowal advised the Board to engage only top-class construction companies and contractors who have the capacity to carry out world-class construction work.

Referring to the bleak past record of the Board, the chief minister further said that the people of Assam, and particularly those from Majuli, are very dissatisfied with the functioning of the Brahmaputra Board.

The Brahmaputra Board has been working to protect the island since 2004 from flood and erosion. The island has been witnessing large-scale erosion and floods since 1950, when an earthquake, measuring 8.6 on the Richter scale, changed the course of the Brahmaputra.

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