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Call to divert rainwater to natural water bodies

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, May 18 - With the onset of the rainy season and the city once again facing the problem of flash floods, civic activist Dwip Baruah has said that a comprehensive plan to divert the rainwater to the natural water bodies in and around Guwahati is the only way to bring about a permanent solution to the problem.

Baruah, who is president of the Nabin Nagar Welfare Society and a former consultant for the Brahmaputra Board, said that the problem of water-logging will continue to persist if adequate measures are not taken to divert the floodwaters.

�We cannot solve this problem of artificial floods till diversion work is carried out. In addition, there is also a need to increase the retaining capacity of the water bodies like the Silsako Beel and the Deepor Beel,� he said.

Baruah, who is active in the movement launched by local welfare societies of the city to force the government to act on the issue of tackling the flood problem of the city in recent years, said that merely installation of pumps to flush out the water during periods of heavy rainfall is not adequate.

�Water from the hills of Meghalaya is a big contributor to flooding in the city. There is an urgent need to divert the Bahini River to the Silsako Beel. The diversion of the Guwahati Refinery drain to Bonda has somewhat made the situation better, but the Bahini also needs to be diverted to Silsako Beel from PIBCO point. Dredging of Silsako Beel to increase its retaining capacity is also important,� he said.

Baruah added that diverting the rainwater from Chandmari locality to Borsola Beel and Sarusola Beel by increasing the width of the drains along the railway line is also necessary.

�For providing relief to people at Silpukhuri, Guwahati Club and Ambari, the local authorities should set up a vertical pumping station on the government land near the roundabout at Guwahati Club. This will also reduce the pressure in Paltan Bazar area,� he said.

Baruah also called upon the Kamrup Metro district administration and the Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) to take up work for concretising the drain along the National Highway 37 from Khanapara to Jalukbari to improve its water-carrying capacity.

�GMDA is building a channel from Khanajan to Pamohi. The channel is okay for drainage needs during the dry season, but to deal with the flow of water during the monsoon there should be a pumping station at Khanajan and water flow should be diverted to Kulsi River near Chaygaon. Work should also be undertaken for de-silting the Deepor Beel to increase its retaining capacity,� said the civic activist.

He also called for installation of silt-traps along the foothills of Guwahati. �The city is surrounded by hills and even one heavy shower results in flow of silt down the hills and clogging of drains in the residential and commercial locations. Silt-traps can mitigate this problem,� Baruah said.

He expressed disappointment over the fact that despite repeated assurances over the last two years, the State government has failed to address the issue of artificial flooding in the city.

�They have adopted only piecemeal measures. Even the Prime Minister�s Office had responded to the suggestions of the local welfare associations and asked the State government to look into the issue. Dispur, had in turn, given the responsibility to the GMDA, but the desired results have not emerged. For the new government which takes charge after May 19, tackling the menace of urban flooding in Guwahati should be among its first objectives,� Baruah said.

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Call to divert rainwater to natural water bodies

GUWAHATI, May 18 - With the onset of the rainy season and the city once again facing the problem of flash floods, civic activist Dwip Baruah has said that a comprehensive plan to divert the rainwater to the natural water bodies in and around Guwahati is the only way to bring about a permanent solution to the problem.

Baruah, who is president of the Nabin Nagar Welfare Society and a former consultant for the Brahmaputra Board, said that the problem of water-logging will continue to persist if adequate measures are not taken to divert the floodwaters.

�We cannot solve this problem of artificial floods till diversion work is carried out. In addition, there is also a need to increase the retaining capacity of the water bodies like the Silsako Beel and the Deepor Beel,� he said.

Baruah, who is active in the movement launched by local welfare societies of the city to force the government to act on the issue of tackling the flood problem of the city in recent years, said that merely installation of pumps to flush out the water during periods of heavy rainfall is not adequate.

�Water from the hills of Meghalaya is a big contributor to flooding in the city. There is an urgent need to divert the Bahini River to the Silsako Beel. The diversion of the Guwahati Refinery drain to Bonda has somewhat made the situation better, but the Bahini also needs to be diverted to Silsako Beel from PIBCO point. Dredging of Silsako Beel to increase its retaining capacity is also important,� he said.

Baruah added that diverting the rainwater from Chandmari locality to Borsola Beel and Sarusola Beel by increasing the width of the drains along the railway line is also necessary.

�For providing relief to people at Silpukhuri, Guwahati Club and Ambari, the local authorities should set up a vertical pumping station on the government land near the roundabout at Guwahati Club. This will also reduce the pressure in Paltan Bazar area,� he said.

Baruah also called upon the Kamrup Metro district administration and the Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) to take up work for concretising the drain along the National Highway 37 from Khanapara to Jalukbari to improve its water-carrying capacity.

�GMDA is building a channel from Khanajan to Pamohi. The channel is okay for drainage needs during the dry season, but to deal with the flow of water during the monsoon there should be a pumping station at Khanajan and water flow should be diverted to Kulsi River near Chaygaon. Work should also be undertaken for de-silting the Deepor Beel to increase its retaining capacity,� said the civic activist.

He also called for installation of silt-traps along the foothills of Guwahati. �The city is surrounded by hills and even one heavy shower results in flow of silt down the hills and clogging of drains in the residential and commercial locations. Silt-traps can mitigate this problem,� Baruah said.

He expressed disappointment over the fact that despite repeated assurances over the last two years, the State government has failed to address the issue of artificial flooding in the city.

�They have adopted only piecemeal measures. Even the Prime Minister�s Office had responded to the suggestions of the local welfare associations and asked the State government to look into the issue. Dispur, had in turn, given the responsibility to the GMDA, but the desired results have not emerged. For the new government which takes charge after May 19, tackling the menace of urban flooding in Guwahati should be among its first objectives,� Baruah said.