GUWAHATI, May 13 - The State government and the local civic authorities must take certain immediate measures if the residents of the city are to be provided relief from the scourge of artificial flooding, said Dwip Baruah, civic activist and advisor to the Nabin Nagar Welfare Society.
Baruah, who has been working to make Guwahati free of artificial floods for many years, said both long-term and short-term measures are necessary to solve the problem which affects the city almost every year during the monsoon.
“The rainfall which took place in the city recently on account of Cyclone Fani was not incessant. It was of moderate intensity but the duration of the rainfall was long. Yet, many localities were affected. Fortunately, the water levels of the Brahmaputra and Bharalu rivers were low at that time and so they were able to bear the excess rainwater. But the situation could well be different when the monsoon is here. It could turn worse during the monsoon period in June-September,” he said.
He said while short-term measures like clearing of drains are no doubt important, there is also a need for taking long-term steps.
“When the water from the Meghalaya hills come down, then the city always suffers. Cleaning of drains is not enough. That (cleaning of drains) has to be undertaken whether there is a flood or not. Instead, urgent steps must be taken to ensure the diversion of excess rainwater out of the populated areas. The government should take immediate action to divert the water from Chandmari towards Deepor Beel via Sarusola and Borsola,” said Baruah.
He added that there is a need to set up a vertical turbine pumping system at some places in Chandmari.
“It could be set up on the AIR campus. The space required will not be more than 100 feet by 100 feet. Besides, another drainage system to divert the Chandmari water to the Silsako Beel is also essential. A small dam could be constructed at Chandrapur to control the floodwater from the Meghalaya hills, which could also be used to generate electricity,” said Baruah.
He said service drains must be in place along the National Highway from Koinadhora itself.
“The service drains along the highway to Pamohi must begin from Koinadhora. Otherwise, areas like Dispur, Panjabari and Sixmile will continue to suffer when water flows down from the Meghalaya hills during the monsoon period. The work must be started immediately. At least the drain digging process should begin,” said the civic activist.
In addition, Baruah also called upon the authorities concerned to work on ways of increasing the retaining capacities of the Deepor Beel and the Silsako Beel.