GUWAHATI, July 2 � A citizens� meeting held under the auspices of the Journalists� Forum, Assam at the Guwahati Press Club here today demanded immediate halt to all the anthropogenic activities that damage the top surface of the city hills and thus render the hills unable to retain the stormwater and lead to flash flood in the city areas.
It also opposed the development of human habitats on the city water bodies and demanded restoration of their original water retaining capacities.
Opposing the act of land allotment on the city hills and wetlands, the meeting demanded immediate halt to such practices. It expressed the view that the Government or the authorities concerned should provide shelters to those who have been migrating to the city in search of livelihood. But, it said there should not be any attempt by any quarter to project the issue of shelter of these people as a land right-related issue.
The meeting laid stress on restoration of the original capacity of the Bharalu-Mora Bharalu-Deepor Beel-Khanajan drainage system and for this purpose measures like comprehensive eviction drive, dredging etc. should be adopted.
Moreover, to provide an alternative outlet for carrying the excess water of the Deepor Beel, a man-made course should be laid to link the Ramsar Site wetland with the Brahmaputra at Kukurmara near Chhaygaon, so that the surplus water of the wetland could be drained out to the mighty river at that point, which is located at a lower slant, said the participants of the meeting.
They further called for steps to direct to the Brahmaputra the Meghalaya stormwater runoff reaching the city areas through the inter-State channels. In this connection, the meeting opined that the Assam Government must take up the issue with the Governments in Meghalaya and at the Centre as the riparian people�s right issue.
The participants of the meeting were of the opinion that the faulty system of disposal of the city�s waste water, solid waste and bio-medical waste has poisoned the city water bodies. Waters of these water bodies pose serious threats to the public health of the city in the event of there occurring a flood in any city area. The authorities concerned should pay serious attention to this issue too, said the participants.
The meeting was addressed by social workers Dwijen Bhattacharyya, Benu Barua, Dhanjit Kakati, N K Sinha, journalists Hiten Mahanta, Biman Hazarika, Rupam Barua, Ranen Kumar Goswami and Nava Thakuria, among others.