GUWAHATI, Sept 20 - A torrential downpour for about two hours this morning left many localities in the city reeling under artificial flood.
Besides the low-lying localities of Anil Nagar, Nabin Nagar, Tarun Nagar, Rajgarh and RG Baruah Road, other places like Panjabari, Down Town, Sarumataria, Japorigog, Dispur, MLA Hostel and Geetanagar also witnessed massive water-logging.
Traffic along the RG Baruah Road was halted for many hours as water-level in the road went up alarmingly. Traffic police diverted vehicles to other thoroughfares.
At the Assam State Zoo a guard wall collapsed, flooding many houses.
Water also entered residential compounds at many places in Nabin Nagar, Anil Nagar, Panjabari and other localities.
�The situation in our locality is pretty bad. The entire locality is submerged. Water has entered many houses, including my own. People are unable to go out anywhere. Life has come to a complete standstill,� said Dwip Baruah, president of the Nabin Nagar Welfare Society.
He added, �The situation would have been more chaotic if it had not been a weekend.�
Baruah said that despite repeated meetings with senior officials, including Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, by local residents� committees, the district administration, GMDA and GMC had failed to take concrete steps to deal with the problem of artificial floods in Guwahati.
�Mere short-term measures are not enough. The Bahini river has to be diverted on an urgent basis and digging of Silsako Beel, Deepor Beel and Bharalu river has to be carried out to increase their retaining capacity,� he said.
Abhijit Bhattacharjee, a resident of Geetanagar who is a senior official with a telecom major, said that all residents at his housing society had to buy drinking water today as flood-water entered the water tank.
�We are unable to go out. The RG Baruah Road is closed. The administration needs to take measures on a war-footing to ensure that repeated flooding in Guwahati does not take place. The drainage system has to be improved,� Bhattacharjee said.
Cycle-rickshaw pullers along the RG Baruah Road and other localities made fortunes by ferrying people through flooded streets by charging many times over the usual rates.
Meanwhile, the district administration said that the rainfall today was to the tune of 80 mm within the first half an hour, covering the greater Guwahati area.
Kamrup Metro DC Dr M Angamuthu said that all circle officers have been directed to assess the damage covering roads, bridges and guard walls.
�The Water Resources Department has been asked to check all the riverside bunds and critical embankments and the PWD has been directed to checks the roads and undertake immediate restoration work, if needed,� he said.
RB Barua, Additional DC, said that pumps are working round-the-clock to release water from the flooded localities into the Bharalu and Brahmaputra rivers. �SDRF personnel have been deployed at many places to ensure that no untoward incidents take place. They have boats at their disposal. Water has started receding and by 10 pm we expect the situation to be back to normal,� Barua said.
Our Jorabat correspondent adds: A heavy shower that lasted for just fifteen or twenty minutes, caused a heavy flash flood at the Jorabat trijunction at noon today, disrupting vehicular traffic and normal life for hours.
Thousands of vehicles remained stranded on NH-37 in Jorabat area, giving the commuters a harrowing time. Flash floods occurred in areas like 8th Mile, 9th Mile, 10th Mile, Hastinapur and 11th Mile also.