Assam: 4.2 lakh hectares lost in erosion, govt draws flak

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Guwahati, July 16: The Assam government has come under severe criticism from its own legislators over its alleged failure to draw up a plan to tackle floods that threaten the state every year. According to a report published in Dainik Jugashankha, over 4.2 lakh hectares have been lost in the state since independence owing to river erosion and lakhs of people have been rendered homeless.

The aggrieved legislators have cited the example of Mizoram which has taken commendable steps towards rehabilitating nearly a lakh erosion-affected families. "If Mizoram can, why can't Assam?" they have sought an explanation.

assam-floods

The government has said that hundreds of thousands of people have lost their homes in most of the districts in the state and although some have been rehabilitated, many families are still residing on the dams.

A state minister said that it is an uphill task to ensure rehabilitation for all the families (over 76,000 of them have been affected) and scarcity of land has also hindered the process. He said the government has to abide by the Supreme Court's verdict on land and is working on a new land policy.

He also said that steps are being taken to set up authorities to look after the rehabilitation process.

Neither the opposition nor even the government MLAs are convinced, however. They said it is true that one day is not enough to rehabilitate so many people but asked how many days have passed without the government taking any positive step. "There has to be a timeline to achieve the objective," they said.

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