GUWAHATI, July 3 � Noted drainage expert and main architect of the 1971 Master Plan for Water Supply, Sewerage and Drainage for Guwahati: 1971-2001, Dr Binoy Das has observed that the 1971 Drainage Master Plan is �still very relevant for Guwahati.�
Talking to this correspondent, Dr Das said the only change that has taken place in the city now is the rise in the built-up areas and the roofs and pavements, which have increased the stormwater run-off from the respective areas.
Therefore, that part of the Master Plan is to be upgraded and the major and minor drainage channels are to be redesigned with laying of new drainage channels wherever needed, he said.
In fact, one suitable agency needs to be engaged now only to study the 1971 Master Plan with a view to upgrading the drainage channels and to make concrete suggestions, he said.
Equating the views expressed by the Government officials and some individuals on the flash flood problem of the city with the opinions offered by the seven blind men after touching an elephant, Dr Das said to know the real cause of such floods and what should be the approach towards their solution one has to go to the 1971 Drainage Master Plan of the city.
It needs mention here that the 1971 Master Plan was prepared under the guidance of the Calcutta Metropolitan Planning Organisation (CMPO) and it was approved by the State Government and the State Assembly. The Master Plan was prepared based on the physical survey of the city topography with meticulous calculations to make the recommendations, Dr Das said.
He also called for steps to urgently notify the areas of the wetlands located in and around the city, as the areas of these wetlands are not known to the public. The Government should notify the areas of these wetlands stating clearly the Dag and Patta numbers that cover the wetlands, he said.
On the city hills, he said the hills should be freed from human habitation as far as possible. Moreover, the channels carrying hill run-off should be properly identified.
At the foot hills, some land should be acquired to construct guard walls for retaining the hill run-off for some time and also to trap the silt, he said, informing that he had seen such guard walls while in Vietnam as the UNICEF sanitation project officer.
From the reservoir, thus created, water can be taken for different purposes. During the dry season, the silt deposited in the reservoir can be taken out for re-use. Massive plantation drives should be taken up on the city hills to ensure the growth of a thick green cover on them.
Those who are living on the hills should understand that they should refrain from cutting hill earth and destruction of the natural slopes of the hills for their own safety as well as for the good environment of their city, said Dr Das.