GUWAHATI, Sept 3 � Best management practices and latest technology have to be adopted to make Guwahati a flood-free city. The Government will provide the necessary funds to make it happen, said Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi at the closing function of the two-day workshop on urban drainage management in Guwahati, at the Assam Administrative Staff College here today.
Gogoi said the flooding in Guwahati has been compounded by encroachment on wetlands and hills and consequent siltation, causing hardship and misery to the people during the rainy season. �The water bodies serve as natural outflow of water from the city. Encroachment on the hills and wetlands aggravated by unplanned construction has impeded the natural flow of water, causing flash flood in the city. Guwahati could have been a lake city. But we reversed the whole system. Of late, people have realised the importance of the wetlands and the recent drive by the administration to clear the clogged drains and the water channels had met with little resistance,� he said.
The Chief Minister called for a comprehensive action plan, both short and long-term, to mitigate the problem of flooding in Guwahati. �Piecemeal measures have to be done away with. An action plan has to be taken up on a mission mode to make Guwahati a flood-free city. With the expertise drawn in from IIT, Mumbai and IIT, Guwahati, and the commitment of the Government, we can make the city flood-free by next year,� he said.
Gogoi underscored the importance of adopting the best management practices for tackling solid waste. �Piles of solid waste, both biodegradable and non-biodegradable, have to be properly segregated and recycled for further use,� he said.
The Chief Minister also stressed water harvesting that could mitigate the problem of drinking water scarcity and flooding in the city.
Minister for Guwahati Development Department Ajanta Neog, said that a permanent solution to flooding in the city was possible through adoption of the best management practices. �Guwahati has grown by leaps and bounds over the years and the rapid development has also brought in its stride some problems, flooding being one of them. We have to put in place an effective drainage management system to mitigate the flash floods in the city,� she added.
Prof Kapil Gupta from IIT, Mumbai, who was the resource person, made a detailed presentation on the action plan, short, medium and long terms, for mitigating the problem of flooding in Guwahati during monsoons. Gupta called for compilation of rainfall data of the city from the Indian Meteorology Department for the last five years. He advocated the use of state-of-the-art bucket type rain gauges to tackle the problem of flooding in the city. �The bucket type rain gauges have been adopted after the Mumbai deluge in 2005. Guwahati requires at least 50 bucket type rain gauges at a radius of two metres to tackle the problem,� he added.
Gupta called for GIS bound mapping for long-term planning and gauging of the intensity of water flow through the existing drainage system. He emphasised building inlets on roads for connecting them to drainage channels at intervals of 30 metres to make roads flood-free.
The IIT expert from Mumbai advocated use of wire meshes and barricades of 6 to 8 feet height along the Bharalu and other water channels to tackle solid waste and sediments. Gupta said with the application of available technology, existing lakes can be used as flood control ponds. He called for measurement of solid waste at key points in the drains to facilitate a planning strategy.
Earlier, Chief Secretary Jitesh Khosla appreciated the efforts of the GMDA to rope in different experts to deal with the problem of flooding in Guwahati. �We have to embark on a pragmatic and realistic approach to deal with emergency situations like flash flood. We need an implementing strategy that yields good results to translate our objective of making Guwahati flood-free by next year,� he said.
Principal Secretary to Chief Minister MGVK Bhanu explained the objective of the workshop.