GUWAHATI: Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi Friday appealed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to include erosion in the list of calamities admissible for assistance so that affected families may also get financial assistance like victims of other natural calamities.
Seeking sanction for works under State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF) for erosion-affected villages, Gogoi said that approximately 8,000 hectares of land is eroded every year in Assam since 1954 and the state had lost so far 4.30 lakh hectares of land due to erosion.
About nine lakh people were affected in Assam due to erosion, the chief minister mentioned in the memorandum submitted to the Prime Minister.
Gogoi also took up the issue of hydro power projects and said that the Planning Commission could suggest to the C.D. Thatte committee to interact with the locale people and experts before giving their report on dam safety and Lower Subansiri Hydro Power Project (LSHPP).
He also said that the Central Water Commission (CWC) should be asked to start a comprehensive study and cumulative river study of Subansiri, Lohit, and Siang river basins to determine the cumulative effect of the proposed hydro power projects to be set up in the upper reaches of the Brahmaputra.
Gogoi also urged the prime minister to ensure allotment of a high share of free as well as allocated power from the LSHPP, being implemented by the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC).
"We have already appealed to the union ministry of power in this regard but a early settlement would be helpful," the chief minister said in the memorandum.
He also appealed for inclusion of seven oil and tea rich districts of Upper Assam under Integrated Action Plan (IAC) to arrest the growing influence of left wing extremism (LWE) and sought 125 companies of central para military forces (CPMF). Presently, there are 97 companies of CPMF in Assam.
The Assam government also appealed the prime minister to restore the old formula of royalty payment for the oil to the states. "The present system of royalty calculation on the sale price must be done away with as it leads to huge revenue losses," Gogoi said in the memorandum.