Ghatal Master plan: TMC delegation meets NITI Aayog officials

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TMC delegates at NITI Aayog. (Photo/ANI)
TMC delegates at NITI Aayog. (Photo/ANI)

New Delhi [India], August 31 (ANI): Nine member delegates from All India Trinamool Congress ( AITC) on Tuesday met with officials of NITI Aayog seeking funds for the implementation of the Ghatal masterplan and other river issues.

The delegation first met Union Jalshakti minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat followed by Rajiv Kumar, Vice-chairman of Niti Aayog and other officials on this issue.

One of the most crucial projects, the Ghatal masterplan is related to an area of the same name in which is a city and a municipality in West Medinipur district in West Bengal that gets inundated by the waters of the Shilabati river. This causes a lot of trouble for the people of the region.

Among other issues, Digha Ghata land Sunderban master plans and other projects of river erosion and barrages, Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) was also raised.

The delegation was comprising Proffesor Dr. Saumen Mahapatra, Dr. Manas Ranjan Bhunia, Srikanta Mahato, Seuli Saha, Humayun Kabir, Sukhendu Sekhar Ray, Deepak Adhikari, Ajit Maity and June Maliah.

Earlier, Water Resources Investigation and Development minister Manas Bhunia in a press conference later held in New Delhi, said, "We met union Jal Shakti Minister and Niti Aayog. We raised the issue of the long waited for Ghatal master plan and informed them precisely that we are not getting funding from the Centre. However, this time it seemed that the talks turned positive, we are hopeful. We have requested the minister for granting the permission of the Ghatal master plan along with the funding."

The last meeting with the centre on the Ghatal plan happened in 2016.

The delegation said that following the non-execution of this long pending Ghatal master plan Medinipur is experiencing a flood, loss of life and loss of grain.

Through the Ghatal master plan scheme, an area of approximately more than 65,500 hectares with a population of more than eight lakhs will be protected.

AITC delegates demanded the earliest financial sanction for immediate financial sanction which amounts to Rs 1,238 cr worth Ghatal Master Plan, Sunderbans and Digha Master Plan, Rs 471 crore project for flood in Malda, North and South Dinajpur, Rs 571 cr project to check erosion at vulnerable areas alongside river Ganga and the Padma.

Significantly, the Ghatal master plan was primarily initiated and monitored by Dr Bhuniya during his tenure as Water Resource Development Minister.

Union ministry prepared a flood management plan at the all-India level for a total of five years (from 2020-2023 and 2023-2025). The plan also includes the Ghatal Master Plan.

Members of the state delegation handed over the documents to both Niti Aayog and the Union Jal Shakti minister.

The letters written by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to various ministries of the Center on the Ghatal Master Plan have also been handed over to the Centre on this day. (ANI)

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