CM admits lack of transparency in developmental works by ministers and MLAs


IMPHAL, March 16: The minister in charge of Irrigation and Flood Control Department N Biren announced in the house that a “Water Master” has been purchased by the department for dredging the river beds at a cost of Rs 3 crores.
The minister was replying to a motion for economy cut concerning the department which was raised at the assembly session held today by opposition MLAs O Joy, I Ibohanbi and Th Syamkumar.
The minister stated that in order to prevent floods during the monsoons, vulnerable embankment areas have been identified and repair works are underway, but the main focus of the department are mostly concentrated on saving of human lives. The present development works are concentrated on the Imphal river and had commenced since 2009 under the SPA. Further, 15 crores will be provided from NABARD for the said works but the fund is still awaiting clearance, works will be taken up pre monsoon, he stated.
He mentioned the cause behind the incessant flooding in the state being due to deforestation in the hills, shallow river beds and non opening of the Ithai Barrage. Mentioning corrective measures, Biren further stated that for draining the river beds, the water master, a hovercraft like vehicle has been purchased and is presently at Kolkotta transit, to keep open the Ithai Barrage, four cross water regulators is currently under construction at Nongmaikhong, Soirenmakok, Komlakhong and Ungamen. Once the regulators are completed, then the barrage will be kept open which will solve at least 80 percent of the cause for the flooding problem, he said. The minister admitted that there has been delay in controlling the flood crisis as there has been some misconduct from certain officials of the department and contractors alike, instead of focusing on the main dam being built, canals have been dug first and of the like. He stated that water has not been distributed along the Khuga canals and will be distributed during farming season. The minister assured that the pending bills of the contractors for the dam will be released by March 31.
The Chief Minister also on his part added that there has been lack of transparency in carrying out developmental works by ministers, MLAs in cahoots with their close workers. He lamented the fact that there has been misuse of funds which could have been used to target vulnerable river embankments like Thoubal and Sekmai rivers instead of utilizing 5 crores by the concerned for the building of embankments along the Khongjom river.


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