Bengal awaits Centre's response on 'unified control' of Tenughat reservoir
Kolkata: The Centre is yet to give any positive response to the Bengal government in connection with the "unified control" over the release of water from Tenughat reservoir in Jharkhand to control flood in Damodar basin.
The state government had raised the issue and placed its demand of "unified control" in front of Arjun Ram Meghwal, Union minister of state for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, in the regional conference of the eastern estates on water resources that was held in Kolkata in mid April.
But the Centre is yet to give any positive response to the state government, even though almost one and a half months have passed after the regional conference.
Moreover, this comes when only a few days are left for the monsoon to set in. According to the forecast of the Regional Meteorological Centre, monsoon is going to hit South Bengal by June 10.
The Bengal government had placed its demand for "unified control" over the release of water, as once it is in place the neighbouring state Jharkhand alone cannot take decision on the release from the reservoir.
The volume of water and the timing of its release have to be finalised considering suggestions of Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand governments, besides that of the minister of Water Resources and Damodar Valley River Regulation Committee. It will ensure that excess water is not released during monsoon, which leads to flood.
It may be recalled that the state government had repeatedly protested against the release of high volume of water during monsoon, when most waterbodies remain full, as it had led to flood in South Bengal districts last year and affected the lives of common people. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had also raised the issue of the release of excess water from reservoirs.
With the delay in the Centre's reply and only a few days left for the monsoon to set in, the state Irrigation department is again writing a letter to the Ministry of Water Resources in this connection.
Rajib Banerjee, the state Irrigation minister, said: "It's been more than a month since discussion was held on the issue in the regional conference of the eastern region. Now, we are going to send another letter to the Centre, so that final decision in this regard is taken as early as possible."
It may be mentioned that the state government had sent a letter to the Centre in this connection, soon after the discussion with the Union minister, in the presence of representatives of other neighbouring states.
A joint secretary level officer from the state Irrigation department had also gone to Delhi and held meeting with an official from the Centre. But no final decision had been taken.