Demand for resolution to avoid floods: State team to visit Delhi on Aug 31

Kolkata: The group of ministers, MLAs and MPs from Bengal would hold meetings with the Centre and Niti Aayog on August 31 demanding a comprehensive resolution to avoid flood and erosion in Bengal.

The eight-member team comprising Ghatal's MP Dev, state Irrigation minister Saumen Mahapatra, Water Resources Investigation and Development minister Manas Bhunia, Minister of State for MSME and Salboni MLA Srikanta Mahato, Minister of State for Panchayat and Keshpur MLA Seuli Saha, Midnapore MLA June Malia, Minister of State for Technical Education Hyumayun Kabir and Rajya Sabha MP Sukehndu Sekhar Roy would leave for New Delhi on Monday. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had directed them to fly to New Delhi to place the demand.

They would be first meeting the Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat at 2 pm on Tuesday while the meeting with Vice-Chairman of Niti Aayog Dr Rajib Kumar is at 4 pm. The eight chartered of demands include immediate financial sanction for Rs 1238 crore worth Ghatal Master Plan, Sunderbans and Digha Master Plans, a Rs 471 crore worth project to flood in Malda, North and South Dinajpur, the project worth Rs 571 crore to check erosion at vulnerable areas along river Ganga and Padma, project to check erosion along river Bhagirathi, the remaining work of projects related to devastation caused by cyclone Aila, dredging at reservoirs of Damodar Valley Corporation and the remaining work of the Keleghai-Kapaleshwari project.

Implementation of the Keleghai-Kapaleshwari project is crucial for flood control in certain parts of West and East Midnapore. With a lackadaisical attitude of the Centre, state government has executed a major part of the Keleghai-Kapaleshwari project at an expense of Rs 700 crore. "Now they must cooperate to complete the remaining part of the project," said a senior state government officer.

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