WR minister seeks public support to check flash floods

IMPHAL, 23rd Dec: Water Resources (WR) minister Letpao Haokip inspected check-dams/catch-pits constructed along the banks of Heirok River in Thoubal district Sunday.
Heirok MLA and education minister Th Radheshyam also accompanied his cabinet colleague in the inspection visit.
Top officials of the Water Resources department including chief engineer Pritam were also present. The sites inspected Sunday falls under the jurisdiction of Flood Control Division (FCD)-III. Heirok River is also known as Wangjing River and this river is a tributary of the Manipur River.
Letpao said that check-dams/catch-pits will be built along the banks of Heirok River to regulate water-flow and appealed to the public especially those dwelling along the river banks to plant trees.
The WR minister said that the flow of Heirok River has always been voluminous and wild and is hard to control. With rapid deforestation activities of the villagers settling along the banks of rivers and in the hills, the volume and speed of the water in the river has rapidly increased thereby causing flash floods and damages to properties. The sedimentary materials and logs that are carried down the river caused much damage, he added. Considering all these inconveniences, the WR department initiated a step for the construction of check-dams/catch-pits and other viable alternatives for regulating and slowing down the water flow of this river during monsoon as a long term measure, the minister said.
Letpao expressed hope that the inspection visit will bear fruit soon as his department is preparing a DPR to execute the plan and will shortly send the report for approval to the State Plan or NEC or NABARD, whichever will be earlier and the more convenient. The project will be a part of the Critical Flood Control and Anti-Erosion Works along Rivers in Manipur River Basin project. Sending out a strong message that it will be impossible for the department or the government solely to solve flood and other problems arising out of water bodies, the WR minister appealed to public especially dwellers along river banks and in hills not to cut trees unnecessarily. Even though unavoidable situations led to cutting down of trees, all should be aware and be conscious enough to plant more trees so that the ecosystem and the environment remain balanced, he maintained.

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