The state Sunderbans development affairs department and disaster management department will jointly conduct an audit of the embankments to counter the menace of crop damage due to saline water entering farmlands from damaged river embankments in the Sunderbans area of West Bengal.
The decision was taken after the state Sunderbans Development Affairs minister Bankim Hazra and the state disaster management minister Javed Ahmed Khan made a visit to those areas in Sunderbans where the problem of damage of crops due to flow of saline water following damage of river embankments is quite acute.
“Both the ministers agreed that a permanent solution to the damage of river embankments need to be achieved to stop this crop damage. However, in order to find that solution it has to be found out why the river embankments are getting damaged every year despite repeated repairs. Hence the decision was taken to conduct an audit of the embankments in the region and accordingly take corrective measures,” local Trinamool Congress MLA from the region Subrata Mondal said.
Mondal was a representative in the meeting attended by the two ministers where the decision on embankment audit was taken.
He pointed out that since most of the farmland in the area is single-crop land, once the damage is done because of flow of saline water, the process of reviving that land to farming condition becomes quite a difficult task. “Hence a permanent solution has to be achieved on how to prevent these embankments from getting damaged every year,” Mondal added.
It is learnt that a team of specialised engineers from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur might be entrusted with the task of conducting the audit of river embankments. The experts from the state disaster management department will provide the audit team with necessary infrastructure support on this count.
“While a group feels that concrete embankments will be a permanent solution on this count, there are differences of opinion in the matter. Hence the audit team will review all these aspects and give suggestions about corrective measures,” Mondal said.