CM-chaired meeting stresses on flood prevention
IMPHAL, 7th Dec: As part of the series of review meetings planned for all government departments, Chief Minister N Biren Singh chaired a joint review meeting for Water Resources and Minor Irrigation departments at the Cabinet Hall of Chief Minister’s Secretariat Friday.
Secretary (Water Resources and Minor Irrigation) Jacintha Lazarus made detailed presentations on the works, achievements and issues of the two departments at the meeting.
As a long term measure to check frequent occurrence of floods in the state, the secretary put up a proposal to construct dams/reservoirs for retention of water of Imphal River at Kangpokpi, Iril River at Yangnoi (near Saikul), Kongba River at Eshingthenbi in order to regulate water volume and check breaching of river banks and flash floods during rainy season. Another important suggestion brought up during the meeting was diversion of Chakpi River to Manipur River near Serou to check back flow of flood water of Chakpi River.
The Chief Minister asked the officials of the Department to prepare a DPR for the construction of a tunnel under the molehill located between the two rivers. He also directed the officials concerned to convene another meeting to be attended by the officials of National Hydro Power Corporation (NHPC) Ltd., Loktak Development Authority (LDA) and Water Resources Department to jointly determine flood prevention measures at the earliest.
Other long term measures suggested by the Department included development of water bodies, reservoirs, community ponds, de-siltation of Loktak Lake, Ikop Pat, Kharung Pat, Pumlen Pat, Irum Pat and Utra Part to increase the volume of flood water absorption capacity. The Chief Minister directed the officials concerned to prepare a comprehensive project within a month to check flood in the State permanently.
On the other hand, short term measures suggested by the Department included scientific assessment of flood prone areas followed by vulnerability mapping, stabilising/strengthening of river bund by raising ground level of river banks, widening the river bed and initiation of protective mechanisms like retaining walls and bore piling, etc.
Status reports of works/schemes taken up under the funding of North Eastern Council (NEC), Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF), Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme (AIBP), Special Development Fund (SDF) and Non-Lapsable Central Pool of Resources (NLCPR) etc., were also presented at the meeting. Regarding Dolaithabi Barrage Project, it was informed to the Chief Minister that a trial run for releasing canal water up to 7.54 km of common canal and left main canal was done on October 20, 2018. Water for the remaining 7.54 km to 17.30 km will be done within this month. However, the sluice gates of Dolaithabi project have been under closure from October 22 to store water for regular irrigation of the fields for plantation of Rabi crops.
In the meantime, works on water transmission system and right main canal of Thoubal Multipurpose Project are in good progress and the contractors/agencies have been advised to complete all the works by March 2019.
Jacintha Lazarus also made a presentation on the works, achievements and issues of Minor Irrigation Department wherein she stated that under AIBP (now known as Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana), the Department has completed 843 schemes during the financial year 2012-13 at a total cost of Rs 303.43 crore and 43,692 hectares of cultivable land have been brought under its command. Moreover, five schemes under NLCPR funding and around 100 schemes mainly repairing and renovation of old schemes under NABARD funding were also taken up. The Department also took up 102 MI schemes under PMKSY during 2014-15 and 2015-16 fiscal years.
The Chief Minister asked the officials of Command Area Development Authority (CADA) and Minor Irrigation Department to form a dedicated team to co-ordinate works to effectively provide irrigation facilities for Rabi crops at Konthoujam, Keirao, Kakching, Bishnupur and Sekmai, etc. Chief Engineers of CADA, Water Resources and Minor Irrigation departments and Project Director of Loktak Development Authority and other high ranking officials of these Departments were also present at the meeting.