Dams, barrages and bridges to undergo safety audit
The state Irrigation and waterways department will undertake safety audit and health check up of all dams, barrages and sluice gates and bridges it had constructed, minister Rajib Banerjee said in the Assembly on Friday.
He said the audit would be carried out by a well known firm who are expert in the job. He presented Rs 2,791 crore Budget (plan and non plan) for 2016-17. He said an expert Task Force was presently reviewing the scope of balance work of the Teesta barrage project keeping in view of the change of land use and cropping pattern, present availability of Teesta water during lean season, viability of procurement of additional land required and various other issues. Identification of prioritised works for execution would be made after receipt of recommendations of the committee.
Banerjee regretted that the Centre had refused its share from 75 per cent to 50 per cent for all schemes with effect from 2015-16 increasing the financial burden of the state government. Also, no central fund has been released for the past 18 months, in spite of fulfilling all statutory requirements.
The Ghatal master Plan is yet to receive nod from the Centre whose estimated cost is Rs 1,214 crore and its inclusion under FMP is lying for more than one year. He said due to acute fund crunch it had become difficult for the state government to take up flood management scheme entirely out of state’s exchequer. The anti-erosion schemes for Malda and Murshidabad could not be taken due to financial crisis. However, despite constraints, the Irrigation and waterways department undertook and completed anti-erosion work in Ganga- Padma and other river systems for a total length of 18.90km in the two districts during 2015-16 financial year.
Banerjee said the work under World Bank assisted national Hydrology Project (Hydrology Project III, since named) would start from this year. It would help in forecasting flood and the areas that would be inundated on the basis of data to be received from a network of automatic and manual rain and river gauge recorders.