GUWAHATI, June 29 – Asking the State government to make drain cleaning a regular exercise in Guwahati city, the Save Guwahati Build Guwahati (SGBG) has said that the government must ensure that adequate funds are released for the purpose and also that the money is utilized properly for carrying out the work.
The NGO also asked the government to find out an alternative channel to carry rainwater into the Brahmaputra River.
For de-silting and cleaning of drains and rivulets of Guwahati city a plan was chalked out by the State government according to which, the DC Kamrup (Metro) had directed magistrates and officers to supervise and monitor the schemes.
The drain cleaning and de-silting work was taken-up by the Guwahati Municipal Corporation, Water Resource Department (Mechanical division) and Water Resource Civil division.
“Several crores of rupees were spent every year for cleaning and de-silting the drains of Guwahati city, but the flood situation is worsening with the passing years,” SGBG president Dhiren Baruah told The Assam Tribune.
“Instead of spending money on the damage control measures, the government must find out a permanent and sustainable method to control the perennial problem. All the drains of the city must be cleaned every week to avoid this problem and it should be ensured that the filth is removed from the sides of the drain,” Baruah said.
“Bharalu River alone cannot carry flood water of the entire city. The work of digging an alternative water exit channel was started many years ago but was abandoned mid-way,” Baruah added.
According to the scheme prepared by the government Rs 2,88,73,104 would be spent by the GMC alone for cleaning and de-silting work in the year 2012-13. The corporation has been assigned the task to clean the small drains of the lanes and bye lanes of the city. On the other hand, for de silting and cleaning of Bharalu, Mora Bharalu and Sarusola beel, etc., a sum of Rs 158 lakh has been allocated for the mechanical division of Water Resource Department and civil division of the same department would be getting Rs 141.84 lakh for cleaning and de-silting Bahini River.
“Spending money without any proper scientific plan would not serve the purpose. The deteriorating situation of artificial floods in the city should be addressed more seriously by the State government. Other than being the capital of Assam, Guwahati is also a gateway to the Northeast. But, unfortunately, the government has failed to prepare proper plan to develop and beautify the city in the desired manner,” Baruah added.