Will Rangirkhal clearance ease water logging?

From Special Correspondent

Silchar, Feb 26: Widespread encroachment of tural and man-made water channels across the town of Silchar has been the main cause of water logging in the lower areas which, besides inundating residential complexes, causes flooding. The flow of water during the monsoon and continuous rains gets obstructed due to the illegal construction of houses and other residential interests. For the last many years, there has been encroachment over the Rangirkhal slowly and gradually and this has been going on without any interference by the civil authorities concerned.

The vast areas of the old Silchar bypass, College road, Chengcoorie road, Satsang Ashram road, Subhash gar as well as other residential areas in the periphery come under the grip of water-logging due to the encroachment in Rangirkhal and its subsidiary channels. In the event of heavy rains, the backlash from the overflowing channels cause flooding of even upper reaches of the town. Quite relevant to mention here that the Rangirkhal collects the flow of water not only from the southeastern part of the town but also from the upper areas of Barenga, Borjurai, Baghadahar, gatilla, Kakpur as well as old Silchar.

It is also relevant to point out that the rain fed water through the Rangirkhal ultimately flows down to river Ghagra for disgorging in Barak river down. Apart from that, this khal, an important outlet to keep the town free from water-congestion, also takes the water flowing down the Soi road and that of Longaikhal, Bachaikhal and Boaljur. This gives an idea of the volumes of water that merges in Rangirkhal. For years, the district administration of Cachar has turned a deaf ear to the repeated prayers of the people affected by the water-logging.

It is a positive development that the present Deputy Commissioner of Cachar, S Viswathan, IAS, has taken the bold step to clear the encroachments in and around Rangirkhal and the process continues, though it is yet a long way to go. Citizens believe if there is no political interference as has been in the past, the district administration can set an unprecedented example. Besides the removal of at random encroachments, citizens feel it is also necessary to explore the possibility of creating reservoir to take in excess rain water. The British who planned to make this town beautiful created water reservoir at Malini-beel and Magura-beel where now have come up human habitations.

What adds to the woes of the residents is the almost nonexistent scientifically laid out draige system covering the entire town to flush out the accumulated rain waters. The storm water draige system which was planned and ready to be executed during 1998-1999 however got averted due to unknown reasons. And with that the sufferings of inhabitants of this town continues. Even the draige system that linked the Tarapur area of this town with Rangirkhal to flush out the waters of the western parts including Shillongpatty and rsingtola has been indiscrimitely encroached upon.

From all reckoning, no draige system in reality exists except the channels and khals that anyway lets out the rain fed waters. The situation has become such that with little showers, many areas get submerged. In the midst of all the mess, the initiative taken by the Deputy Commissioner, S Viswathan, ISA, as Sadhan Purkayastha, former commissioner of municipal board, is commendable. After clearing the khal, the second phase of leveling and extending the area continues. Purkayastha hopes the entire encroachment will be cleared for the better of all.