Assam has lost about 4.27 lakh hectares of land due to the erosion of the Brahmaputra river, greatly impacting the overall development of the state, the assembly was informed on Wednesday.
Replying to a question by All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) MLA Sirajuddin Ajmal, Water Resources Minister Pijush Hazarika said that flood and erosion are the main disasters caused by the Brahmaputra and Barak rivers and their tributaries.
The Water Resources department has been implementing erosion protection schemes from time to time as per necessity at the affected sites, he said.
“These schemes have yielded desired results in terms of controlling the perennial problem of erosion by different rivers,” the minister said.
The Assam assembly in 2015 had passed a resolution for inclusion of river erosion within the guidelines of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF).
The state government’s revenue and disaster management department has notified erosion as a state specific disaster in 2015 and as per norms, 10 per cent of the allocated funds under the SDRF can be used for state specific disasters, Hazarika said.
The 15th Finance Commission has considered erosion a disaster and addresses two aspects of erosion, which include mitigation measures to prevent erosion and resettlement of people displaced by erosion, he said.
The Commission recommended Rs 100 crore under NDRF for resettlement of people affected by erosion and Rs 1,500 crore under National Disaster Mitigation Fund (NDMF) separately for measures to control erosion, the minister added.