GUWAHATI, June 24 - Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal convened a meeting on Thursday late evening to gauge the preparedness levels of different agencies in dealing with flash flood and issues of water-logging in Guwahati following heavy rain, said an official press release here today.
During the meeting held at the conference hall of Chief Minister’s Secretariat, Sonowal reportedly suggested that all concerned departments and agencies have to respond better to people’s complaints on water-logging and other rain-related issues.
Sonowal called upon the agencies to work on short and long-term plans and come up with a better system to deal with water-logging.
The Chief Minister asked the officials to regularly check the functioning of pumps and to attend to public complaints immediately.
Sonowal also asked all the agencies and departments to work in an integrated manner, not in isolation, to combat the issue. “It is time all agencies work together to deal with the issue,” he said.
The Chief Minister instructed the concerned department to carry out de-silting of drains. “The drains are filled with debris and silt. De-silting must be carried out on a war-footing,” he added.
The meeting suggested enhancement of the capacity of Bharalu sluice gate to flush out rainwater of Guwahati to the Brahmaputra to mitigate urban flooding.
Sonowal asked the concerned departments to go in for afforestation in a big way to maintain the ecological balance and to make it mandatory for every resident to plant at least three saplings each. The Chief Minister directed the authorities to remove plastics and garbage from the drains that are creating hurdles in smooth flow of rainwater.
Minister for Guwahati Development Department, Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma suggested short term and long-term measures like construction of underground drains along with storm water drainage system to mitigate floods. Dr. Sarma said that the Government is actively considering entrusting the management of flash flood in the city to a single authority vis-a-vis Guwahati Municipal Corporation.
Dr Sarma said that steps would be initiated to ensure that there is no manhole in drains and potholes in city roads. He said that the city dwellers of Jalukbari and West Guwahati would get piped drinking water under JICA from April next year.
The meeting was attended, among others, by Minister for Revenue & Disaster Management, Pallab Lochan Das, local MLAs, Siddhartha Bhattacharya and Ramendra Narayan Kalita, GMC Mayor, Deputy Mayor, councillors of GMC wards and senior officials of Guwahati Development Department.