Kolkata: With continuous apathy of the Centre in addressing the problem of river bank erosion in Bengal, the Mamata Banerjee government has decided to invest Rs 107 crore to check erosion at vulnerable areas along Ganga and Padma rivers.
Rajib Banerjee, the state Irrigation minister, said: "We will be investing Rs 107 crore to check erosion of the banks of river Ganga and Padma."
The work that will be carried out by investing the money, will be completed by the end of March 2019. Hundreds of people will get relieved as they would no longer have to worry about their houses getting washed away by strong currents.
It may be mentioned that in 2017-18, the state Irrigation department had invested Rs 72.1 crore to check erosion at different points along the rivers and with the investment of another Rs 107 crore, a stretch of 15 km will be concretised, so that the soil does not get eroded any more.
It may be recalled that around 37 spots were identified, where erosion of river banks is a serious problem and hampers the normal lives of people.
The most vulnerable points out of these spots have been identified, where the work will be carried out initially so that it doesn't cause further loss to property as agricultural land was also washed away at many places due to erosion of river banks.
After completion of the concretisation and strengthening of the river banks at such vulnerable locations, the same task will also be gradually taken up elsewhere in due course of time, so the problem is ironed out at all the spots.
It may be mentioned that Padma river divides Murshidabad in Bengal and Bangladesh. So, the erosion of river bank also leads to threat to national security as there have been instances when river bank close to Border Out Post (BOP) of Border Security Force was washed away. BSF jawans maintain vigil on Bangladesh on the other side of the river from the BOP.
On the other hand, a stretch of river Ganga divides Malda with the neighbouring states on its west. So, erosion of river bank has come up as a serious issue, causing inconvenience to the local residents.
Banerjee said: "We had approached the state government several times. But it fell on deaf ears. So, the state government has taken up the responsibility to ensure safety of the people who reside along the river, by checking possibilities of erosion."