West Bengal Government's 'Ghatal masterplan', a ₹1,500 crore mega project, has been approved by the Centre, according to a senior official on June 25. The expenses would be split between the central and State government, with 60 per cent being borne by the Centre and the rest by the State.
The 'Ghatal' project is expected to dredge the riverbeds while strengthening the embankments of at least ten major rivers in West Bengal, as reported by The Print.
After receiving the nod from the Centre, the plan for strengthening embankments of rivers like Shilabati, Rupnarayan, and Kansabati, along with some canals, will soon take a concrete shape.
The senior official added that they had received a go-ahead from "the project investment committee", and two more clearances were required, one of which is from the Union Ministry of Finance.
All of these rivers swell up during the monsoon season, causing floods and damage to the areas around the Purba and Paschim Medinipur districts.
Allowances Long Overdue
A nine-member team from West Bengal, which included ministers of the State and lawmakers of the Trinamool Congress (TMC), had met Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, who is the Union Jal Shakti Minister, and Rajiv Kumar, the vice-Chairman of NITI Aayog, to seek funds for the project by submitting a memorandum.
The Ghatal plan would include measures to stabilise the areas that are annually affected by the floods, as reported by the Times of India. Measures include dredging of riverbeds and canals, desiltation of river water, construction of a dam on the Shilabati river, and installation of water pumps.
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