Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal has strongly warned the NEEPCO authorities not to repeat the mistake of releasing excess water abruptly from its dam in the Ranganadi river.

Reviewing the flood situation in Lakhimpur district on July 12, Sonowal said that because of the sudden release of water by NEEPCO without any warning last year, a large portion of Lakhimpur district had to face tremendous difficulty caused by flood. He also highlighted the lack of planning in NEEPCO’s part in making a dam incapable of holding much water which results in inundation of Lakhimpur district till October-November.

Directing the NEEPCO authorities to build a reservoir for holding water, the chief minister urged the organisation to adopt advanced engineering technology and knowhow. He warned the organisation to stay prepared for paying for the losses of the people affected by flood caused by Ranganadi dam’s water in the coming days.

Issuing direction to the Lakhimpur district administration for concretising the raised platforms erected for providing shelter to the flood victims, Sonowal instructed for making the concrete platforms with multipurpose functionality and conducting survey of the land required for building the platforms.

The chief minister also directed the health department to organise health camps at the flood-affected areas and visit the villages for providing medical services after the flood recedes. Directing the veterinary department doctors to go to the villages for offering medical services to the animals, Sonowal instructed the department’s medical officers to work with sensitivity towards animals under the deputy commissioner.

Instructing APDCL to ensure zero casualties due to electrocution during the floods, the chief minister directed the department to inspect all power transmission lines to prevent mishaps. He also directed the water resource department to conduct surveys on the rivers during the winters for preparing technically correct DPRs to manage the floods effectively. He also highlighted the need to start a course on river studies in the engineering colleges of the state for learning about the characteristics and history of the state’s rivers. The chief minister directed the food and civil supplies department to ensure that there is no scarcity of the essential commodities in the district during the floods and instructed the deputy commissioner to hold separate meetings with the petrol-diesel and LPG dealers for keeping adequate stock.

In view of the weakening embankments and their faulty construction, the chief minister directed the water resources department to monitor the embankment construction works implemented by zila parishads under MGNREGA. Instructing the deputy commissioner to issue work completion certificate in consultation with water resources department, Sonowal also directed the department to submit fitness certificates of the river embankments.

Reviewing the functioning of public works department, the chief minister urged the department to work more actively. He urged the PWD to repair the Kakoi-Rajgarh Bridge connecting the Lakhimpur and Dhakuakhana assembly constituencies.

Water resource minister Keshab Mahanta, Dhemaji MLA Ranuj Pegu and DC Lakhimpur also accompanied the chief minister.

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