KMSS to launch stir over non-repair of embankments

July 20th, 2012 - 8:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Guwahati, July 20 (IANS) Assam’s powerful pressure group Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) has vowed to launch a mass movement from Aug 1 against the state government’s failure to protect people from annual floods.

According to the state government’s estimate, the first wave of floods that hit the state last month affected over 20 lakh people, killing 125 people across the state.

“The Water Resources Department of the state government had received a total of Rs.1,778.45 crore in central funds under various central schemes between 2001 to 2012. The whole amount was meant for repairing embankments across the state to protect people from annual floods,” said KMSS leader Akhil Gogoi while talking to reporters at Guwahati Press Club on Friday.

“It is shocking to know that about 99.5 percent of the total embankments in the state are in a pathetic condition. There has not been any permanent repair of the embankments and the surging waters of the Brahmaputra River and its tributaries breach those every time during the floods,” said Gogoi.

“The first wave of floods in the month of June this year breached the embankments of the Brahmaputra and its tributaries at 55 locations across the state. The water resources department had assured the people that the breaches would be repaired by July 15. However, nothing was done by the department,” he said.

Gogoi added: “The KMSS is going to wait till Aug 1 for the water resources department to initiate repair works, failing which we would be forced to launch a mass movement across the state.”

“There are 423 embankments in the state covering an area of more than 4,000 km and most of them have already exhausted their normal lifespan - 35 years,” he said.

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