By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, July 25: Panjabari, Six Mile and Khapara in Guwahati had to bear the brunt of an unprecedented flood last night. The reason is the unplanned draige system on either sides of the NH-37 and NH-40 at Jorabat that leads to flash floods very often in the area. However, last night Guwahati had the first experience of the spillover effect of the Jorabat flash floods.
Panjabari, Six Mile and Khapara in Guwahati are never considered flood-affected areas in Guwahati, but the people residing in these three areas have started to bear the brunt of the spillover effect of floods because of faulty planning on the part of the tiol Highway Authority of India (MHAI) and Assam and Meghalaya administrations.
The problem lies in the fact that at the juncture of Jorabat point where the GS Road, NH-37 and NH-40 meet there is no draige system worth the me. The drains on either sides of the NH-37 and NH-40 have been encroached upon. A number of restaurants and other shops have sprung up on the drains illegally under the very nose of the Assam and Meghalaya administrations. The drain on the Assam side of the GS Road near the Jorabat police station has been encroached upon by Swavan Motors. The drain has been made much rrow at the site. This has happened under the very nose of the Sopur Revenue Circle officer and the police station at Jorabat. The situation has come to such a pass that when there are heavy rains, the Jorabat police station is inundated. A spell of heavy rains is enough to make Jorabat a hellhole - sometimes big holes are formed on bridges on the NH-37, roads cave in, landslides and waterlogging occur. After a spell of heavy rains, life comes to a grinding halt in the area.
On July 21 Kamrup (M) DC M Angamuthu and his Ri-Bhoi district counterpart Dr. Puja Pandey had a joint visit to the area to take stock of the situation. The draige system there was glaring before the two deputy commissioners who, however, stopped short of doing anything tangible. Whenever there is a heavy spell of rains, waters from the Meghalaya side inundates the road and makes it a hellhole. Activities like cutting of red soil and stone quarrying that are regular in Meghalaya have also complicated the situation. The red soil laden by rain waters gets deposited in drains in the Assam side and block them. The two DCs then had a meeting with the officials of the NHAI and asked them to construct drains on either side of the NH-37 and NH-40 so as to solve the problem of waterlogging there. They, however, stopped short of evicting the people who encroached upon the drains.
A few days back, Angamuthu did visit the area from Khapara to Byrnihat and asked the local authorities to evict people who have encroached upon drains. He was also on record saying that the NH-37 in that particular stretch is a haven for miscreants, and the authority there should see that the activities of antisocial elements are kept under control.
Sopur Revenue Circle Munindra th te conducted an eviction drive in the area recently, but stopped short of demolishing the wall erected by Swavan Motors that has made the drain very rrow. The bed of the Bahini river, the local people of Ten Mile area say, has been raised to a great extent due to siltation of red soil that comes from the Meghalaya side. The local people are also not happy with the role being played by the NHAI either. A section of people in the area says that the problems, including heavy siltation of red soil coming from the Meghalaya side, cannot be solved unless Assam and Meghalaya governments take some tangible measures jointly.
According to the local people, waters at 9 Mile and 10 Mile are pushed towards Guwahati by the flow of waters from Meghalaya. The waters that inundated Panjabari, Six Mile and Khapara last night were from Jorabat. The flash floods yesterday led to huge loss to many. While RS Agro Product Pvt Ltd at 12 Mile had to incur huge loss as flood waters inundated the establishment, all night buses bound for upper Assam and Meghalaya were delayed by 4/5 hours.