West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, expressing concern over the continuous erosion of the Ganga River bank in Malda, Murshidabad and Nadia districts.
She requested the PM to advise the ministry concerned to conduct a detailed study, involving all stakeholders, and formulate an integrated plan to control the situation.
Banerjee said the interventions would have high-cost implications, and also urged the prime minister to ensure that suitable budgetary provisions are made for the same under the Flood Management and Border Areas Programme (FMBAP).
While noting that he had written a similar letter in February this year but “nothing had moved forward”, the chief minister said anti-erosion efforts had been “attempted piecemeal with no holistic approach being taken”.
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”There is a need for permanent restoration works instead of such palliative activities. I would therefore request you to kindly advise the concerned ministry (Jal Shakti Ministry) to conduct a joint study supported by suitable model analysis involving Farakka Barrage Project Authority and the governments of Bengal and Bihar under the aegis of Ganga Flood Control Commission,” she wrote.
Banerjee also sought reconsideration of the Centre’s decision in 2017 to withdraw the Farakka Barrage Project Authority’s extended jurisdiction to protect the river bank from further erosion.
She requested the prime minister to arrange for a detailed technical study involving all stakeholders.
”The findings of the study may be then utilised to formulate an integrated plan to combat erosion in this zone, which is now the need of the hour,” the CM said. Banerjee stated that the state had to take up urgent bank protection work over the last four years at the cost of Rs 168 crore. Another Rs 80 crore was spent after the 2021 monsoon for anti-erosion work on a 14 km stretch along the river.