New sluice gates for Farakka Barrage: Bansal



Baharampur: After the recent meeting of West Bengal Chief Minister and Prime Minister on the collapsed gates of Farakka Barrage, Union Minister of Water Resources Pawan Kumar Bansal on Saturday said all sluice gates of the Barrage would be replaced with new ones in the next five years.

"The existing sluice gates of Farakka Barrage are too old to function properly. New gates will be installed within the next five years," Bansal told reporters after inspecting the Barrage in Murshidabad district.

The broken gate no 16 had already been repaired and the repair work of the collapsed gate no 13 would be completed shortly, he said.

Stating that dredging of the river Bhagirathi will not be taken now, the minister said presently the flow of water in the river was normal.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on February 22 and demanded immediate repair of the two broken gates through which 80 per cent of water were flowing to Bangladesh lowering the water level of the Bhagirathi.

Irrigation, power production, navigability of Kolkata and Haldia Ports and supply of drinking water were hit for the falling Bhagirathi, she had said adding that her government had detected the broken gates in June and December last year.

PTI