GUWAHATI, June 11 - Although the State government has been spending crores of rupees to mitigate the waterlogging problem in the city, for residents of Anil Nagar area, artificial floods is still a worrying issue which affects their lives every rainy season.
Amulya Das, president of the Anil Nagar Unnayan Samiti, lamented that though the government has set up a number of water pumps in the locality to drain out the floodwaters, the number was not enough to take out all the excess rainwater as half of those water pumps are very old.
“From the very beginning, we have been demanding installation of a large electric pump to mitigate the waterlogging issue. But, the authorities are yet to respond to our demand. The government had once installed an electric pump, but due to lack of proper planning, the authorities failed to operate the pump even for a single day,” Das said.
Das, a former engineer in a State government department, asserted that a diesel pump needs more space to operate and was less efficient compared to an electric pump.
“One of the main drawbacks of a diesel-run water pump is that it causes noise pollution while being operated. So, during rainy days, life becomes miserable in our locality. Many times, the diesel pump stops working when a large amount of garbage is dumped near or over it. To solve the problem, an automatic trash-cleaning system needs to be installed. We had requested the GMC to install such a system in the pumping station but it did not take the matter seriously, rather it is still manually cleaning the trash in the pumping system,” Das added.
He also alleged that all agencies of Guwahati that are responsible for mitigating the waterlogging issue, have failed to implement a proper drainage system.
“The waterlogging problem has started to affect several new areas of the city. In Guwahati, a number of pumps are in use to drain out the excess water, but none of them is efficient. We recently moved the Kamrup (Metro) Deputy Commissioner over the matter, but have not got any response,” Das told The Assam Tribune.
He said that the waterlogging problem will become serious in the coming days as the GMC recently connected many other drains of the city with those of Nabin Nagar area.
“We need a locality-based rainfall record system, based upon which the drainage system should be developed,” he asserted.
Sunil Nayak, general secretary of the Anil Nagar Unnayan Samiti, alleged that this time, dredging of the Bharalu river was not done properly. So the chance of flash floods in the area was very high in the monsoon season. Again, pollution in the Bharalu river has created a new threat – contaminated drinking water.
“The authorities recently connected the drains of Anil Nagar with other drains of nearby areas, so the water load has increased at a drastic level, which will make the situation critical in the coming days. We need immediate action from the authorities to solve the issue,” Nayak told The Assam Tribune.
Anil Nagar is also lagging behind in getting streetlights in all byelanes. Residents alleged that snatching incidents have become a major threat. “Snatching incidents are now taking place frequently in our locality. Miscreants are snatching valuables from women and girls during evening hours,” Nayak said.
Like many other areas of the city, Anil Nagar area also faces drinking water crisis.
“We do not get uninterrupted supply of drinking water. Though the Jal Board provides household water supply in our area, the supply is not regular, and there is severe crisis especially in summer,” Nayak said.
Traffic congestion over the bridge on the Bharalu river also causes immense problems for the people of the locality. Locals allege that a number of small vendors have set up businesses on both sides of the road, but the GMC has not taken any action.