GUWAHATI: No agency – be it the GMC (Guwahati Municipal Corporation) or the GMDA (Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority) – has so far risen to the occasion when it comes to tackling the perennial problem of artificial floods in Guwahati. A large number of city areas like Uzanbazar, Rajgarh, RG Baruah Road, Downtown and Ulubari were under water in the past two days due to incessant rains. The area looks like the City of Venice.
Many houses in the Uzanbazar, Padum Pukhuri etc areas were under water till this morning due to heavy rains on Tuesday night. The GMC claims to have cleaned drains every year. However, the local people of Uzanbazar tell a different story. They say that when the labourers were cleaning the drains, the local people requested them to get down into the drain and clean it. "We're surprised to hear a prompt reply from one of the labourers that they can't do that as the civic body has not provided them rubber boots without which they can't take the risk to step into the drain. This makes us clear as to what kind of cleaning they've done to the drain here," a lady of the locality said.
Another lady said, "GDD Minister Siddhartha Bhattacharya paid a visit to the Uzanbazar area today. We the local women came out to brief the Minister of the problems we've been facing. When we were briefing the Minister he got, irritated and said – 'you should feel good that a Minister has come to visit your locality wading through water'.
"The Minister, however, opted not to visit the Padum Pukhuri lane that has more water."
The lady said, "Every year we face such problems, but the administration is doing precious little to solve it."
The situation at Radha Nagar near the Silsaku Beel is very pathetic. The area was nearly under waist-deep water till this afternoon. The areas have been inundated as the sluice gate of the drain had to be closed to prevent the reverse flow of water from the Brahmaputra. Water from Silsaku Beel goes towards Bonda.
GMC Chief Engineer Debojit Das and a few officials of the PWD visited the area (Radha Nagar) to observe the situation. The situation due to the reverse flow of water is an eye opener for the administration. The area has been inundated due to the rain water that found no escape route as the sluice gate has been closed to prevent the reverse flow. The situation demands a different planning that needs engineers to rack their brains.