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Monday, 25 February 20130 comments

Kolkata Feb 25: The West Bengal irrigation department’s ambitious R148 crore for flood control in north Bengal has got stuck as the Union government is yet to release the required funds for the project.

Sources from the state irrigation department said that although a report prepared jointly by the irrigation department and North Bengal Flood Control Commission (NBFCC) was presented to Brahmaputra Board way back in September 2012 there has been absolutely no progress in getting a single penny for the project.

“As per the initial discussions on this issue, Brahmaputra Board was supposed to release R40 crore in the first phase by November 2012, but even after lapse of five months, we are yet to receive the amount. Hence, we could not make any progress in the project. We expected to finish a substantial pat of the project before the commencement of monsoon. But since the basic requirement, that is funds, is still uncertain, we doubt that we would not able to start the work before the commencement of monsoon,” a sources in the state irrigation department said.

Heal so said that the matter would be raised in the coming meeting of Brahmaputra Board scheduled on February 28, 2013.

Brahmaputra Board, an autonomous body under the Union ministry of water resources, is entrusted with the task of preparing master plans for the control of funds and bank erosion and improvement of drainage in the Brahmaputra Valley.

Sources from the state irrigation department said had the proposed flood control project received the funds it would have brought the flood problem in north Bengal under control to a great extent.

The assignments under the project involved repairs of banks of different rivers in north Bengal, besides adopting other flood control measures.

“Several times, we have written to Brahmaputra Board, for quick sanction of funds. But every time, what we got is only assurance. Nor we had been given any explanation on why there is delay in sanction of funds,” a state irrigation department official said.

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