Dredging of Brahmaputra bed to start in September to control flood

GUWAHATI: Dredging of the shallow bed of the River Brahmaputra in Assam will be started from September once the monsoon season is over. It was decided in a meeting between Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari and Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal in New Delhi on Wednesday.

The shallow bed of the main channel n Assam which came up during the mega earthquake of 1950, has been one of the major reasons for perennial flood and erosion problem in Assam.

It is believed that dredging will greatly help in desilting the river bed, thereby enhancing it water carrying capacity so as to mitigate the perennial flood in Assam besides helping navigation along the National Water Way No. 2.

For dredging of the 600-km stretch of the Brahmaputra from Sadiya (east) to Dhubri (west), six dredgers would be pressed into service and a minimum 45-meter depth would be maintained throughout the entire course of the river in Assam.

The sand dredged out will be used for  construction of  the Brahmaputra Express Highways along both sides of the river. Sonowal also mentioned that the DPR along with technical report would be submitted by the State Government to the Centre soon. An additional fund to the tune of Rs. 400 crore for the purpose.

Gadkari informed that the Ministry of Road Transport, Highways and Shipping was at an advanced stage of starting the works of two more bridges on the Brahmaputra, one being the 30 km Dhubri-Phulbari bridge. Moreover, detailed project report for Gohpur-Numaligarh and Majuli-Jorhat bridges are at advanced stages of implementation.

The Ministry has released Rs.200 crores initially to make over the existing National Highways (NHs) in Assam which are in bad shape. More funds are likely to be released once a high level National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) team which is in Assam submits its report within a week to make stretches of NHs which are in bad shape, motorable.

Sonowal requested Gadkari to set up a permanent office of National Highways Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) in Guwahati.

The CM urged Gadkari for immediate sanctioning of balance amount for repairing of NH 44 covering a stretch of 61.80 km in Barak Valley which is in dilapidated condition. He also pleaded for sanctioning of 6-laning of Guwahati bypass on NH 37 which is pending with NHAI.

Chief Minister Sonowal also sought Gadkari’s help in strengthening the existing 5000-km old embankments and convert them into road-cum dyke which would not only help in developing road connectivity network in the rural areas but also mitigate the flood fury in the State.

The meeting also decided in principle that existing NH 52 would be converted into a 4-lane express highway between Baihata Chariali and Tezpur in view of its strategic importance. Moreover, an amount of Rs. 73 crores has also been allocated for Mangaldoi by-pass., a source in CM office hare said






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