GUWAHATI, July 7 - With Guwahati continuing to bear the brunt of flash floods year after year, local citizens� bodies and some experts have now perhaps for the first time, taken it upon themselves to suggest some remedial measures to the government to deal with the menace.
Among the measures suggested by the experts and local residents� associations are steps for diversion of stormwater by gravity flow, diversion by stormwater drainage system or vertical turbine pumping and tunnels to the Brahmaputra, digging and de-silting of channels and water-bodies, conservation of soil and adoption of a multi-disciplinary watershed approach in all the hillocks of the city, and alignment of waterways on each of the hill sides.
Local citizens of Anil Nagar, Nabin Nagar, Tarun Nagar and around 30 other localities and namghars have jointly made the action plan, said Dwip Baruah, advisor to the Nabin Nagar Welfare Society, who has been involved in civic action to make Guwahati free of artificial flooding for many years.
�We even met the Chief Minister in June and submitted our recommendations. We believe that, if implemented properly, our suggestions, which have been adopted after a long study by experts and local residents, can offer a long-term solution to the problem of flash floods in the city,� he told this newspaper.
According to the citizens� welfare societies, urgent steps are needed for diversion of the Bahini river to the Silsako Beel from Rukminigaon point and Hengrabari point to reduce over-flooding at Mathuranagar, Chandan Nagar, Down Town, Hengrabari, Dispur, Manik Nagar, RG Baruah Road, Nabin Nagar, Anil Nagar, Tarun Nagar, Lachit Nagar and other areas.
Similarly, the local residents� bodies have suggested that the water from the hills of Meghalaya coming down through various streams and drains from the eastern side of GS Road must be diverted to the Silsako Beel, while the Basistha river along with Mora Bharalu�s water must be diverted to the Kulsi river or nearby tributary of the Brahmaputra instead of over-flooding the Deepor Beel.
�This would save the Deepor Beel from the ecological point of view and revitalise the almost dead Kulsi river. To save the river dolphin breeding area near the Kulsi river, a water treatment plant may be designed,� Baruah said.
The action plan has recommended diversion of rainwater near the Assam Engineering Institute, Chandmari, or on the All India Radio campus to save Anil Nagar and diversion near the roundabout at Ambari to divert the rainwater from Lamb Road and nearby areas.
Regarding digging and de-silting, action has been urged in the Bharalu river, Silsako Beel, Deepor Beel and all other water bodies to the full extent to increase the retaining capacity of stormwater and for removal of huge quantity of earth and silt to be dug out from the water bodies.
�A few artificial hillocks can be made, which in the long run would facilitate in the setting up of some ropeways for tourist attraction and shelter for migratory birds and many amphibian animals,� as per the action plan.
The local associations have said that the sluice gate at Bharalumukh should be shifted beyond the railway lines and nearer to the Brahmaputra and the silt level has to be brought down.
With regard to the fragile condition of the 23 hillocks surrounding Guwahati, the action plan has suggested conservation of soil and adoption of a multi-disciplinary watershed approach as has been suggested by the IIT Guwahati, alignment of waterways near each and every hillside for guiding the same to a safe low lying area for conservation of water in the form of water harvesting ponds, and construction of numerous silt traps in all possible foothills of the hillocks and along the drains nearby to arrest silt and prevent the drains from being filled up even after a small downpour.