Majuli near Jorhat will be developed as “Water Heritage Island”, announced Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti while inaugurating the three – day, 3rd Assam “Water” Conference – 2015. Minister for North East Dr. Jitendra Singh along with Chief Minister of Assam Tarun Gogoi were present.
Spread over different academic and technical sessions, the Conference will deliberate upon various issues with a focal theme “Management of Water Related Disorders – Urban and Rural”. An exhibition sporting the theme and showcasing the latest technologies in the field of water management is also being held simultaneously.
An exclusive gallery called “Brahmaputra gallery” depicting different facets of River Brahmaputra and its picturesque richness was also formally dedicated to the nation here today with the cutting of ribbon and unveiling of plaque by the three dignitaries.
Speaking on the occasion, Sushri Uma Bharti announced the decision to restructure and reshape the Brahmaputra Board. She also announced the plan to declare Majuli near Jorhat as “Water Heritage Island”.
Reiterating that all the schemes of Water Resources Ministry will be North-East oriented, Sushri Uma Bharti emphasized the importance of anti-erosion and flood management along the course of Brahmaputra.
Dr. Jitendra Singh, in his address, lamented that nearly 33% of water resources in North-East are going waste. This is an appalling situation, he said, considering the fact that a gigantic river like Brahmaputra and an enormous source of water in the region is, instead of being put to constructive use, ending up as a source of destruction, erosion and elimination of water bodies.
Dr. Singh said, it is an irony that on the one hand there is so much of excess water and frequent floods, on the other hand, regular uninterrupted tap water supply is available to an extent of hardly 50% and people still continue to crave for clean water and sanitation. To overcome this paradox, he suggested innovative and proactive planning for perspective use.
While welcoming the two Union Ministers, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi expressed satisfaction that the very presence of two members of the Union Council on the occasion pointed to the importance of water resource problem that is faced by Assam. He warned that while the damage caused by floods is only temporary, the erosion caused by floods leads to permanent and lasting damage.
Shri Gogoi made an alarming observation that over nearly 4000 hectares of land had already eroded in the area and that river Brahmaputra requires proper channelization and reclamation for which he appealed to the Central Government to provide a liberal and free assistance.