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Dibrugarh residents stare at rain-fed deluge
Our Bureau
 DIBRUGARH, June 28 – Following the horror of flash floods at Guwahati in the past 48 hours, a similar situation stares at the residents of Dibrugarh, which has a nonfunctional drainage system thanks to decades of bureaucratic incompetence here.

 Expressing this fear, office-bearers of the Dibrugarh Nagarik Sangha (DNS) today told mediapersons here that unless immediate measures are taken, the day is not far when “worse than Guwahati-like artificial flooding” would play havoc with the city and its periphery’s million plus population.

The Sangha has in the meanwhile filed a writ petition at the Gauhati High Court to order a probe into a huge scandal of illegal house building permissions in the city by the Dibrugarh Municipal Board and the Dibrugarh Development Authority in the past five years.

The DNS alleged that the municipal board and the local development authority have done irreparable damage to the citizens here by doling out illegal building permissions without any regard to civic infrastructure, like drainage, fire fighting and road capacity. While the DNS would not spell it out officially, it is common knowledge here that house building permissions in the city have been mired in corruption and utter malpractices, especially since 2008-09.

A total of about 25 high rise buildings, both commercial and residential, are in various stages of construction in the city. These buildings have an average of seven floors each. Citizens here are of the view that unless fire services, water drainage and roads are sufficiently developed, these buildings and their occupants would only add to the chaos in the city.

The DNS has been pleading before the district administration, too, seeking measures to improve the storm water drainage system in the city, especially in the southern localities here. However, the district babus have done nothing more than paying lip service to the problem.

Some drains have been built, but these have proved inadequate to flush out rain and waste water. Only the contractors ended up making ill-gotten profits.

It is learnt that the high court has asked the Dibrugarh administration, municipal and development authority Chairmen to reply to show cause notices by the end of July this year.

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