The leader of the Opposition in the Assam Legislative Assembly, Debabrata Saikia on Thursday observed that the Brahmaputra dredging and express highway project, which was announced with a great deal of fanfare by the BJP-led Central and State governments, has now turned into a mirage.
Referring to a question posed by him in the Assembly on September, 26, Saikia said that it is clear from the answer submitted by the Water Resources Minister, Keshab Mahanta that the state government has no clue about the present status of the project.
Apparently, only the Water and Power Consultancy Service Ltd. (WAPCOS) and the relevant central government departments are aware of the present status of the project.
Saikia said that the Brahmaputra dredging and express highway project is another false promise made by the BJP to the people of Assam because the Expert Committee constituted by the Assam government had pronounced the project unfeasible for flood and erosion control as far back as September 9, 2017.
Among other things, the Expert Committee report had mentioned that the dredged channel will not sustain as it would get filled up again in no time and, moreover, the ever-widening braided river course would erode away the express highway.
The Opposition leader said that the state government needs to answer certain crucial questions regarding the project.
Firstly, why has the project not been officially scrapped despite the adverse report of the
Secondly, which authority will accord Techno Economic Feasibility approval?
Thirdly, to which authority has the state Water Resources Department submitted the Concept Paper which was prepared on the basis of its survey? Fourthly, does the draft policy on Sediment Management prepared by the Central government recommend dredging of the Brahmaputra?