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6 major schemes to curb artificial flooding in Guwahati city

By City Correspondent

GUWAHATI, May 5 - The government has taken several major schemes to mitigate the disaster caused by artificial flood in Guwahati.

The Guwahati Development Department during the current year has come up with six major schemes to mitigate the intensity of artificial floods in the city. The six schemes include cleaning and desilting of the Pamohi water channel, Borsala Beel, Silshaku Beel, Bondajan Beel, Deepor Beel and the NBCC drain.

Rapid urbanisation leading to uncontrolled and unbalanced development activities in the last decade has had a detrimental impact on the ecology and environment of Guwahati city.

The city�s drainage system has often collapsed in recent times due to heavy siltation, illegal encroachment, garbage dumping, etc., as the natural water exit channels take the additional burden of stormwater. As a result, the city experiences recurrent artificial floods and severe waterlogging during the rainy season.

To contain the same, the Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) has taken various measures from time to time. However, in the current time of the COVID-19 pandemic, any addition of disaster will prove catastrophic. Hence the Guwahati Development Department is taking all possible measures beforehand in a proactive manner.

Additional Chief Secretary, Guwahati Development Department Maninder Singh took stock of the ongoing schemes on May 1, making personal visits to some of the sites. He was accompanied by a GMDA team consisting of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Moloy Bora, Secretary Ananta Kumar Gogoi and site engineers Kriti Nath Talukdar and Janardhan Hazarika.

While inspecting the sites, Singh instructed the GMDA team to take up additional measures wherever necessary, to successfully complete the schemes before monsoon arrives.

In case of the Pamohi water channel, two major issues were observed by Singh and the GMDA team � encroachment on land alongside the water channel and huge factories in Azara Gaon Panchayat areas. The GMDA team was instructed to conduct a survey to know the status of the land and also carry out eviction if the land is found to be government land. The team was further instructed to conduct a survey to find out the status of the zone and take necessary action against the owners of factories if those are found to be situated in the Green Belt area.

In case of the Borsala Beel, direct discharge of dirty drainwater into the water body has made the water unhygienic. The GMDA team in this case, was instructed to conduct a survey to find out the technical flaws of the alternative drain. Subsequently, a proposal with required rectification will be placed before Guwahati Development Department to make the drain workable.

In case of the Silshaku Beel, 60 to 70 per cent areas of the beel were found to be under encroachment. Also, presence of three bottlenecks between the beel and the Brahmaputra river made riverine survey of the water body difficult. In this case the GMDA team was instructed to survey the beel area and carry out an eviction drive to make the area free from encroachment. Instructions were also given for repair of the �water master� and removal of the bottlenecks in consultation with Oil India Limited.

In case of the NBCC drain, the GMDA team was instructed to deploy more machines within three days for early completion of the works as well as to deploy a sucker machine for cleaning and desilting works.

Under the guidance and supervision of CEO Bora, the GMDA engineers are confident of carrying out the new instructions for the schemes in an expeditious manner and complete them before monsoon.

On the same day, Singh also visited the new ropeway project site undertaken by the GMDA.

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