GUWAHATI/ DIMORIA: For nearly two weeks, the people of Guwahati were suffering from sweltering heat and praying to the Rain God to bring the much-needed relief. But on Thursday night and Friday morning the gateway to North East was plunged into chaos as rains dragged Guwahati to a standstill puncturing Dispur’s tall claims on making it a Smart City.
While heavy rains resulting in landslides in the Jorabat area along the Assam-Meghalaya border claimed four human lives, artificial floods created havoc and brought normal life to a grinding halt in different parts of Greater Guwahati. Artificial floods or waterlogging did not even spare the posh and prime areas in the city forcing the residents to live under the knee and waist deep water. Transport facilities were rendered useless as people were stranded in offices, homes, and streets. Students of schools and colleges had a harrowing time to reach their homes.
While the administration expectedly faced the flak for the situation in the city as they were blamed for not taking any measures to solve the flooding problem which hits Guwahati every monsoon, city residents lost their temper when Guwahati Development Department Minister Siddhartha Bhattacharyya on Friday said “the city’s waterlogging is now causing less sufferings to Guwahatians than the previous years.”
The much-needed rains from blistering heat that started on Thursday night first created havoc in the Jorabat area flooding National Highway-37 and causing landslides. The landslides caused by the Thursday night’s rains claimed lives of Indira Dorji at Sankardev Nagar in Jorabat and Bilad Daimary at 13 Mile in Ri-Bhoi district of Meghalaya. The landslides due to Friday morning’s rain claimed lives of Rakhi Chubedi and her minor son Ayush Chubedi at Hastinapur in Jorabat. The Assam Government has announced a compensation of Rs 4 lakh each to the families of Indira Dorji, Rakhi Chubedi, and Ayush Chubedi.
Artificial floods due to the lack of proper drainage and rainwater flushing out system have affected many new areas in the city. Floods inundated roads and houses at Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed Nagar at Panjabari area. “I have been living here for the past several decades and never witnessed waterlogging as on Friday. Rainwater entered my house and damaged household property,” Debasish Thakur, a resident at Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed Nagar said.
With Dispur trying to downplay the problem of waterlogging through irresponsible statements made by a responsible person like GDD Minister Siddhartha Bhattacharyya, the people were again seen helpless on Friday without any solution at sight.