Incessant showers bring life to a standstill in Silchar

Special Correspondent
Silchar, June 13: The incessant rains for the last 48 hours across Barak Valley have played havoc with civic life of this town, in particular. Normal life in general has also been affected due to the submergence of roads, lanes and by-lanes. Movement of common people as a result of which has been greatly restricted. Added to it, is the overcrowding of vehicular traffic on the roads which have to move at a snail’s pace. If the weather god continues to be unkind, the coming Eid festival might also be affected.

The worst hit Shillongpatty road, also known as Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Road, is now in focus which has turned into an important commercial centre, besides residential complexes. Drains are choked and all the outlets to gush out rain waters are also blocked. In fact, the drainage system of this town has almost collapsed. The British era management to flush out rain waters of this town to Malini Beel, a reservoir, is now a commercial centre. There is no open space to store spill over water.

One of the scientifically designed drainage systems to carry out excess rain waters of this town and disgorge them into Ghagra river, a tributary of Barak, has almost collapsed with encroachments all over it. The only channel now left to flush out the waters of the greater Link Road and Ringirkhari areas in the southern side remains functional though attempts have been made to encroach and build settlements all along but foiled by the timely action of the district administration.

There is no coordination among development authority, municipal board and town and country planning to work jointly to improve the civic facilities. The down town Shillongpatty is its worst victim. Besides commercial and business interests, it has banks, private mobile service providers, schools and college. Business has almost touched the lowest ebb with zero turnout of customers. Rahul Das, sales executive, A C Trading, dealing in variety of furniture, said, “We have no customers for the last two days due to waterlogged road.” Cyber Mascot, always doing a thriving business, has dry days with no customer around, pointed out Parag Nandi Mazumder.

So is the tale of United Gun House, the only such business centre in the entire Barak Valley and Dima Hasao district. Its proprietor-owner Sakha Ranjan Roy said, “Leave aside business, flooded road spills over the excess waters in our shop. It is very difficult to run the shop if this situation continues for long.” Not only is the main road, the ground floor of residential houses as well as business centres is under water. It is a very unbearable situation, pointed out Dr. Amarendra Bhattacharjee, former head, department of Sanskrit of a college.

When contacted to know about the problem of acute water logging of Shillongpatty Road, Niharendra Narayan Thakur, chairman, Silchar Municipal Board, blamed it squarely on National Building Construction Company (NBCC) which constructed the drain with 30 feet long slab over it without any manhole which should have been 2 feet long. He at the same time referred to a cross drainage up Ambicapatty point which is in a total mess due to the lack of coordination between different agencies like telecom department and public works department. For the time being, as Thakur said, there is no immediate remedy to the situation and people have to bear the brunt.