The Indian government has begun deploying a controversial tool designed to dredge the coastal waters of the Brahmaputra river, one of the world’s largest rivers.
The project has faced strong criticism from environmentalists and rights groups, who have argued the dredging technology is too expensive and not sufficiently secure.
However, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Maharashtra has announced a similar project in its state of Maharashtra, which is in the process of developing its own dredging infrastructure.
The Bharatiyan Janata Dal (BJD), which has an absolute majority in the state legislature, has already approved the controversial dredging project.
The Gujarat government has also been working on the project, which involves the construction of a 1,000-metre deep canal in the coastal region.
The project will cost $3.4 billion and is likely to cost around $500 million.
In a joint statement, the state government and the Centre have announced that the project will begin from December 1.
The Indian Navy will use dredging equipment, which can be used for large-scale dredging, in the Brahmikeshwari Canal to begin construction on the canal.
The state government has identified the area for the project and is working towards securing funding for it from the central government.
According to the joint statement issued by the state, the Brahmey River Basin in Maharashtra will be used as the location for the dredge project.
The dredging canals will also be constructed across the Brahmani River basin, where the Brahmpuri basin and the Brahmati are interspersed, and will stretch along the Brahmeni River.
The Brahmpuris’ tributaries will be diverted.
The Brahmapur Basin has the highest water table in the country, and the project is expected to reduce the water table of the river by around two feet, the statement said.
Dredging will also help restore the waters around the coastal areas of the state.
The government has allocated funds for dredging projects across the state and is planning to conduct two major projects in the coming months.
The announcement of the project comes after the Bharat Heavy Electrical Company (BHELCO), a unit of state-owned Indian Railways, was forced to cancel its project for a dredging canal in May 2017 due to high-profile protests over the project.
However the project was approved by the central and state governments.