The West Bengal government’s ‘Ghatal Master Plan’ is yet to see the light of the day as the Central government has not allocated funds for the programme despite the plan getting a nod for investment clearance.
The West Bengal government’s ‘Ghatal Master Plan’ aims to bring major relief to the people living in the low lying areas of Ghatal and adjoining areas of Bengal’s Midnapore from immense flooding every year. (Representative photo)
By Suryagni Roy: The West Bengal government’s mega flood management programmer -‘Ghatal Master Plan’ – which aims to bring major relief to the people living in the low lying areas of Ghatal and adjoining areas of West Bengal’s Midnapore from immense flooding every year is yet to see the light of the day.
The Ministry of Jal Shakti has not allocated funds for the programme despite the plan getting a nod for investment clearance.
TMC MP from Ghatal Deepak Adhikari alias Dev has sought details from the Union minister of state for water resources about the current status of the Ghatal Master Plan and whether the government has sanctioned any funds for the project to the Jal Shakti minister.
In its response, the ministry stated that the flood management project of West Bengal, namely Phase-I works of Ghatal Master Plan in
Paschim Medinipur and Purba Medinipur districts, ws taken into consideration by the advisory committee of the Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation under the Ministry of Jal Shakti in the 136th meeting held on June 6, 2018 and the plan was accepted for its techno-economic viability at an estimated cost of Rs. 1,238.95 crore. (price recorded as in 2017).
“Based on the recommendations of the Investment Clearance Committee of DoWR, RD & GR in its 17th meeting held on June 10, 2022, the project has been accorded investment clearance. However, no funds have been provided by the Central Government as the project has not been included for funding under any scheme of Ministry of Jal Shakti,” read the Union ministry’s reply to the TMC MP.
The Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation under the Ministry of Jal Shakti is responsible for the providing technical guidance, scrutiny, clearance and monitoring of the irrigation, flood control and multi-purpose projects (major/medium). It is also responsible for providing central financial assistance for some state schemes in special cases and preparation of flood control master plans for rivers Ganga and Brahmaputra.
The Ghatal Master Plan entails dredging of riverbeds and strengthening of embankments of 10 major rivers of Midnapore, including Rupnarayan, Shilabati and Kansabati, which swell during monsoon, thereby causing floods, as well as some canals in Purba and Paschim Medinipur districts.