The repair and strengthening work of both the embankments of Ranganadi river has been marred by slow pace despite release of a considerable amount of funds by the state. The Rs 361 crore project from the Central funds for bank protection work under Flood Management Programme by state Water Resources Department has so far missed the three-year deadline which expires on December 31.
Work on Ranganadi embankment started on January 1, 2015 to strengthen its banks with heightened embankment with geo-mates and the project was to be completed in three years time. The FMP work for Ranganadi was sanctioned following the devastating flood caused by the release of dam water of NEEPCO’s Ranganadi Hydro-electrical Power Plant in Yazali, Arunachal Pradesh in the summer of 2008. The slow and faulty pace of work compromising with quality control resulted in the breach of Ranganadi’s embankments in two different places during the flood of 2017. That time the dam-induced flood water of Ranganadi breached its embankment in Bogoleejan, North Lakhimpur inundating a vast area of agricultural land and human settlements with loss and damages of property measuring several crores of Rupees.
The same flood also breached the embankment of the same river at Aamtola in Panigaon destroying agricultural and communication infrastructure of a wide area in the southern part of Lakhimpur district. The damages further delayed the progress of work despite the release of Rs 234 crores (65%) of the allotted fund by the State Water Resources Department. Though the department has officially claimed completion of 83% of work, a reality check tells a different story.
Many stretches on the 60-kilometer-long embankment work are still to be covered by geo-mates. Currently, Lakhimpur district Water Resources Department this month has received Rs. 126,48, 9967 for the work.
The announcement by the state government to complete all the bank protection works of Assam’s rivers before the advent of monsoon in 2018 has also been missed by Ranganadi’s embankment work.