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Majuli fiasco: Board under public scanner
The zonal office of the Brahmaputra Board at Lakhimpur in upper Assam has misappropriated funds allotted for protection of Majuli,the biggest river island in the world.

MAJULI, THE biggest river island in the world, has faced an astronomical crisis recently, this time being triggered by misappropriation of central funds allotted for its protection by a section of corrupt officials of the Brahmaputra Board at North Lakhimpur in upper Assam.

The board was accorded the responsibility to protect and save the island from flood and erosion annually caused by the Brahmaputra for last couple of years. But the zonal office of the board situated at North Lakhimpur in upper Assam has allegedly been involved in siphoning a huge chunk of money allotted by the centre for implementation of various schemes to safeguard the river island. What makes the scenario more paradoxical than ever is that the same government was running from pillar to the post to acquire the world heritage tag for Majuli.

A team of experts from France is likely to visit the island in September this year to investigate the required norms to certify it for the much-desired international status. At a time of huge preparation for its world identity, the fiasco of the board has led to much speculation regarding the very existence of the island. In a report of the central water resource ministry, the fiasco of the board is clearly spotted as commissioning of the funds without due technical permission from higher authority at its Lakhimpur zonal office in which some local contractors and top officers of the board are involved. A hefty sum of Rs. 508.63 lakhs has been allotted without LOC leading to anomalous execution of some practically non-existent schemes in the river island.

Now, the entire fiasco is under public scanner and what actions the government would initiate to punish the corrupt officials of the board would justify its otherwise grand effort to accolade it the tag of the world heritage site.

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