Kolkata: Stating that the erosion along the banks of the Ganga in the districts of Malda, Murshidabad, Nadia and upper Burdwan has reached alarming proportions, the West Bengal government on Thursday demanded that the Centre declare it as a national problem.
"Erosion in the Malda, Murshidabad, Nadia and upper
regions of Burdwan has reached alarming proportions. The Ganga
flows along six states and brings down debris and silt. This
has created a peculiar situation," Irrigation Minister Manas
Bhuniya told newsmen.
Stating that after taking over, the new government has
drawn the attention of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Union
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Union Water Resources
Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal to the problem, he said, "let the
Centre declare it as a national problem.``
While the Centre and the Farakka Barrage Authority had
earlier decided to take up anti-erosion work upto 40 km
upstream and 80 km downstream of the barrage, they were now
considering a state government proposal for taking up work
along 65 km upstream and 100 km downstream upto Karimpur in
Murshidabad district, he said.
Bhuniya said that he would write to the Prime Minister
requesting that Central relief and rehabilitation assistance
be provided to those affected by the erosion.
"If those affected by disasters like floods and
earthquakes can provided such assistance, why not give it also
to those hit by the erosion," he said.
He said that the Union Finance Ministry, the Union
Water Resources Ministry and the Planning Commission have
agreed to carry over the Flood Management Programme from the
11th plan to the 12th plan in keeping with a request from him.