Plea seeks permanent management of Brahmaputra floods

The Supreme Court on Monday sought response from the Centre and others on a petition alleging negligence on their part to take steps to prevent recurrence of floods in Assam, adversely affecting people and causing geographical damage to the state.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir also issued notice to Assam and Arunachal Pradesh governments on the petition filed by Prodyut K  Bora, a management consultant and general secretary of BJP state unit.

The state has already lost 2,358 sq km due to erosion to the Brahmaputra river, besides suffering monetary loss of Rs 600 crore every year, the petition said. Advocate P Niroop, appearing for the petitioner, submitted that the devastation caused by the recent floods in the Brahmaputra in Assam which displaced nearly 22 lakh people in almost all 22 districts was only waiting to happen because of the indifference and negligence on the part of the constitutional and administrative functionaries.

The petition drafted by advocate Anil Kumar Tandale sought the court to issue a writ in the nature of mandamus directing the Union government to evolve a permanent mechanism for flood management.

Besides, it also prayed the court to direct authorities concerned to implement the master plans and recommendations of the Brahmaputra Board set up under the Brahmaputra Act 1980.

Unfortunately, the North-Eastern Water Resources Authority (NEWRA) set up in 2004 by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, a Rajya Sabha MP from Assam, to provide effective flood control, to generate electricity, and to provide irrigation could not take off due to lack of consensus among the riparian states.

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