Seeking to handle threat of floods in many parts of the country during Monsoon, the Centre will soon come out with a national silt policy which will enlist measures to scientifically desilt rivers which have over the years lost the capacity to hold water due to deposition of excessive silt.

The issue of having a national policy to deal with the problem was flagged by the Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar last year when he had met the Prime Minister Narendra Modi after many districts in his state faced floods during Monsoon. Experts had then blamed siltation of river Ganga and its tributaries for such a situation.

In the backdrop of such a situation elsewhere in the country as well during Monsoon, the Union water resources ministry on Friday held a detailed consultations on its preparedness to come out with a nation policy to deal with the problem as early as possible.

Admitting that silting of rivers has assumed serious proportions over the years, he said as of now there is general feeling that flood prone rivers are undergoing change in carrying capacity, leading to rise in flood level.

Bihar chief minister had last year blamed the deposition of silt in the Ganga on the "slow discharge of water" from the Farakka Dam in West Bengal which, he claimed, had let to flooding of as many as 12 districts of the state.

The water resources ministry had then set up a committee to prepare guidelines for de-siltation of river Ganga from Bhimgauda (Uttarakhand) to Farakka (West Bengal), keeping in view the ongoing river cleaning exercise.

Source: March 17, 2017, The Times of India