Centre sets up committee to improve management of water resources in Northeast
The government has constituted a high-level committee for holistic management of water resources in the North Eastern Region (NER). This comes on the heels of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to flood-hit Assam in August.
The Committee, according to the official press release, “would facilitate optimising benefits of appropriate water management in the form of hydro-electric power, agriculture, bio-diversity conservation, reduced flood damage erosion, inland water transport, forestry, fishery and eco-tourism”.
While the committee will work under the Chairmanship of Vice-Chairman of NITI Aayog, the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) will be the coordinating point. The committee will submit its report and Plan of Action by June 2018. Besides secretaries of relevant ministries, chief secretaries of all the eight states are a part of the committee.
The government has felt the need for “multi-sectoral interventions and concerted strategy” to ensure water management, including management of catchment areas in upper reaches. Almost every year, the Brahmaputra—one of the largest river systems in the world—causes considerable damage to the region through frequent flooding and erosion.
The newly formed committee will not only identify gaps in the existing mechanism/institutional arrangements for optimal management of water resources of the NER, but also suggest policy interventions and identifying actionable measures needed for optimising management of water resources.
Recently, the Centre faced flak from the CAG after it observed in its latest audit that states prone to floods have failed to implement management schemes.
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