Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Saturday urged the Ministry of Jal Shakti to take up a special programme for flood and erosion management in Assam. He requested the ministry to convert 4,474 km of old embankments of the state into “roads over embankments”.

The chief minister made the requests while speaking at the review meeting of the 10th High Powered Review Board of Brahmaputra Board in Guwahati.

“The state government constructed nearly 4,474 km of embankments since 1954. Most of the embankments have become vulnerable due to expiry of the design period,” he said and requested the ministry to take up steps for converting the old embankments into “roads over embankments”.

He also sought support from the Jal Shakti ministry for inclusion of erosion in the admissible list of calamities for assistance under NDRF and SDRF. Sonowal said the matter has already been taken up with the home ministry.

The chief minister also underlined need for taking up scientific and corrective dredging of Brahmaputra, Barak and their tributaries in a time bound manner for effective erosion management.

Moreover, highlighting the need for study of flash flood caused by the rivers flowing from Arunachal Pradesh and Bhutan, he stressed on efforts for soil conservation and catchment area management in the hilly states.

Sonowal also underlined the need for sharing hydro-meteorological data, adopting latest technique of data analysis and flood early warning system and requested the ministry to take steps for constitution of North East Data Centre at Guwahati.

The CM also requested to revive the flood management programme and requested to release the balance central share of the FMP schemes which were already taken up in the state.

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