GUWAHATI: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said engineering solutions are being mulled over by his government to make the capital city, Guwahati, free from flash floods and water- logging.
He also said clearing water-carrying channels of the city of encroachments and de-siltation are being given priority to make the plan a success.
After attending a meeting with officials on Sunday, CM Sarma tweeted, "Discussed modalities to make Guwahati flood-free and decided to bring in engineering solutions to flash flood and water logging problem in the city."
All the pumping stations are to be overhauled and two additional ones will be built, according to the Assam CM.
Sarma said a widening project of the Bharalu river, a tributary of the Brahmaputra which flows through the city, will be implemented by the Kamrup (Metro) district administration, Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) and Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA).
Bharalu, Basistha and Bahini will be cleared of all illegal encroachments on both sides of the rivulets, he said. Settlers encroaching on the rivulets have decreased their width and turned them into sewers.
Originally rivulets, the Bharalu and Bahini are now considered drains, with murky, foul- smelling water and garbage floating on them, which residents throw with impunity into them. With their water- carrying capacity reduced considerably, rainwater swells them up rapidly and floodwaters from flashfloods cannot be drained by them efficiently, leading to water- logging woes of the city's residents.
Sarma also said that de-siltation of water-carrying channels and drains of the city will be carried out on a war footing.
The last major de- siltation project by the GMC, however, went wrong when crores of rupees were siphoned off with the help of false bills. It turned out to be a major scam and over a dozen people have been arrested in the scam till now, including the former chief engineer and contractor, along with a host of other GMC officials. The investigation into the scam is still going on.
CM Sarma also added that garbage bins and CCTVs will be installed across the city soon.