Press Release

Union Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari lays foundation stone of a project for protection of Majuli island from flood & erosion and construction of Brahmaputra Board complex

Union Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari lays foundation stone of a project for protection of Majuli island from flood & erosion and construction of Brahmaputra Board complex

Union Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari lays foundation stone of a project for protection of Majuli island from flood & erosion and construction of Brahmaputra Board complex


Dispur, Dec 29: Union Minister of Shipping, Road Transport & Highways, Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation Nitin Gadkari laid the foundation stone of a project for protection of Majuli island from flood & erosion and construction of Brahmaputra Board complex alongwith slew of other projects taken up by the Assam Government under state plan with financial outlay amounting to over Rs. 300 crores in a programme held at Rawanapar in Majuli district today. Coinciding the occasion, he also ceremonially flagged off regular cargo transportation through inland waterways from Pandu to Dhubri/Hatsingimari.

Speaking on the occasion, the union minister reaffirmed that the central government is keen to develop Brahmaputra as a major waterway for boosting trade & commerce as it would enable the cargos to ply through Bangladesh till Chitagong port and open sea route for Assam to connect with other important ports of the country.

"An MoU has already been signed between the governments of India and Bangladesh to dredge the river Brahmaputra including the portion of the river that falls in Bangladesh for rapid development of water navigation and cargo transportation", Gadkari said adding that cargo transportation through inland waterways is the cheapest mode of transportation and once the dredging work in both Brahmaputra and Barak are complete, it would bring huge economic benefit to the state and the region.

He also informed that the project for which foundation stone was laid today included the protection wall with an expenditure of Rs. 237 crore would solve the major problem of erosion in the island. He also expressed confidence that the Brahmaputra Board complex, which would be built with an expenditure of Rs. 40 crore would also help the Board to streamline their activities and manage the flood & erosion problem in a big way.

Gadkari in his speech also called on the state govt. to explore ways to develop river tourism in the state and also suggested the govt. to initiate action for production of bio-ethanol from bamboo taking advantage of huge bamboo plantation of the state.

Appreciating Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal for making sincere efforts to develop Majuli and the state, the union minister said that the central government is fully supporting the state government's endeavours to uplift the state's economy. "Chief Minister Sonowal has fulfilled the promises he made during the election campaign by declaring Majuli as a district", he said.

Gadkari further mentioned that DPR for the bridge to be constructed from Nimatighat in Jorhat district to Kamalabarighat in Majuli district is being prepared by the state government and necessary action in this regard would be taken up after receiving the DPR from the Assam Govt.

Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal in his speech stressed the need to protect Majuli from flood & srosion and said the govt. is taking all steps to preserve this island which is the seat of vaishnavite culture. He also underlined the need to increase income of the farmers for bringing transformation in the state. "This Govt. was formed to protect the rights of the indigenous people of the state and aspirations of all sections of the society would be fulfilled by the govt.", he assured.

Stating that sabka saath sabka vikas, would be made into a reality in the state through good governance at all levels of the society, Sonowal cautioned the people to stay alert against the divisive forces who are trying to foment trouble in the society. The Chief Minister urged the people not to panic if some of their names do not appear in the first draft of the NRC to be published on December 31. He assured that no genuine Indian citizens would be excluded from the NRC and the remaining names would be published in the subsequent drafts.

Terming the event as a historic day for Majuli when such mega projects for the protection of the island has been kick started, he Informed that five new bridges will be built over river Brahmaputra in the state and said rapid development of surface and water connectivity would bring economic benefit to the state.

"Now Majuli has drawn the attention of the whole world and there is even greater need for people of the island to stay united for its prosperity. The first Cultural University in the state to be set up at Majuli would play a crucial role in preserving Majuli's culture and heritage and the two skill development centres opened at Majuli would empower the youth of the district to make meaningful constriction to the society", he said. Sonowal also called on the contractors to maintain quality in construction of the embankments.

Noteworthy that Chief Minister Sonowal on several occasion pressed hard the Brahmaputra Board authorities to set up its permanent office campus at Majuli in a bid to bring more efficacy and swiftness in implementation of flood control & erosion protection projects. It was in response to his repeated requests that the Brahmaputra Board Chairman Sanjay Kundu in a meeting with him in New Delhi on March 23 assured of setting up a permanent complex of the Board at Majuli. The new complex would include an office, a godown and a guest house so that officials could stay in Majuli and execute their work.

Minister of Water Resources Keshav Mahanta, MP Pradan Baruah, MLAs Bimal Bora and Ashok Sarma, Brahmaputra Board Chairman Sanjay Kundu, Principal Secretary of Water Resources Department Hemanta Narzary, Deputy Commissioner of Majuli Pallav Gopal Jha, Satradhikar Janardan Deva Goswami and other satradhikars of Majuli were present among others in the programme.