Imphal, Dec 24,
Water Resources (WR) Minister Letpao Haokip today inspected various places along the stretch of Heirok river at Thoubal district. Heirok AC MLA and Education Minister Shri Th Radheshyam accompanied his Cabinet colleague in the inspection visit.
Shri Letpao said that check dams or catch pits will be built along the Heirok river to regulate water-flow and also appealed the public, especially river-bank dwellers to plant trees.
Also popularly known as the Wangjing river, this river is a tributary of the Manipur River and falls into the Loktak Lake.
The sites that were inspected today are the Heirok-II Wangpokpi bridge area and the Heingang Inganglok area. The later is the place of origin of this river.
Top officials of the Water Resources Department including Chief Engineer Shri Pritam were also present in the visit. It may be mentioned that the areas inspected today comes under the jurisdiction of the Office of the Executive Engineer, Flood Control Division (FCD)-III.
Speaking about the purpose of the inspection visit, the WR Minister said that the river flow of Heirok river has always been voluminous and wild, and is hard to controlled. With the rapid deforestation practices by the villagers alongside the rivers and in the hills, the volume and speed of the river has rapidly increased thereby causing flash floods and other damages to lives and properties. The sedimentary materials and wood logs that are carried along the way by the flow particularly have caused much damage, he added.
Considering all these inconveniences, the WR Department is initiating a step for the construction of a huge catchpit, or check dams and also any other viable alternative for regulating and slowing down the water flow of this river during monsoon in a long term manner, the minister further said.
Letpao expressed hopefulness that today’s inspection visit will bear fruit soon as his department is preparing a DPR to execute the plan and will shortly send the report for approval to the State Plan or NEC or NABARD, whichever will be earlier and the more convenient. The project will be a part of the ‘Critical Flood Control and Anti-Erosion Works Along Rivers in Manipur River Basin’ project.
Sending out a strong message that it will be impossible for the department or the government ‘solely’ to solve floods and other problems arising out of water bodies, the WR Minister appealed the public, especially those dwellers in the river banks and in hills not to fell down trees unnecessarily. Even though unavoidable situations led to the cutting of trees, all should be aware and should be conscious enough to plant back trees so that the ecosystem and the environment remain balanced.