Dredging in River Brahmaputra stopped

Dredging in River Brahmaputra stopped
  • April 2017: Rs 40000 crore for Dredging Brahmaputra andconstructing 2 exp. highways: Govt.
  • July 1, 2019: Dredging not going to happen and should not beattempted on the Brahmaputra as it carries too much of silt, Govt in RS.

The much-trumpeted dredging in the river Brahmaputra has formally come to a nought with the announcement in the Parliament by the Union water resource Minister that not only it was possible but also no attempt should also be made as the river too strong and carries too much silt.

He also iterated that the annual flood of Assam cannot be declared as a national problem as there is no law and no provision in the constitution or even government rules declaring recurring natural calamities as a national problem of the country.

His reply came during a Rajya Sabha question raised by BiswajitDaimary and Ripun Bora. The announcement of the stoppage of dredging has cometo a sigh of relief to all the environmentalist as well as specialist of river Brahmaputraas all in unison opposed it and terming the whole project as too utopian.

The entire project, which also includes the construction ofthe Brahmaputra Expressway on both sides of the river, would cost Rs 40,000crore.

Notably on April 4 2017, to realize such a future, a tripartite agreement for dredging the Brahmaputra was signed between the Assam government on one hand and the Indian inland waterways and national highways authorities on the other at the closing ceremony of the Namami Brahmaputra Festival in Guwahati in April.

Nitin Gadkari, India's union minister of road transport,highways and shipping, hoped that the project would change the economiclivelihoods for people in Assam, He announced that the national governmentwould provide 400 billion rupees (USD 6.2 billion) for the construction of theambitious Brahmaputra Express Highways on both banks of the river.

Deemed one of the largest infrastructure projects in thenortheast, the 6.4 billion rupee (USD 998 million) highway will stretch 840kilometres along both banks of the Brahmaputra between Sadiya and Dhubri. Theproject was found to be technically feasible by the water resource ministrywhich, after a preliminary survey, offered to help in the work to stabiliseboth banks, find sustainable solutions to flooding and erosion, and develop thewaterways for navigation.

Meanwhile, the World Bank has given 98 million rupees (1.5million) to the Inland Water Transport infrastructure development project tosupport its work in dredging the river to maximize its navigational potentialand introducing safe, modern and economical passenger vessels and rivercruisers for tourists.

But after yesterday's announcement future of the highway are uncertain and certainly, the dredging affair was closed forever.

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