With the absence of an efficient drainage remaining a perennial blot on the city’s civic infrastructure, the authorities need to treat the matter in the urgency it deserves. Matters stand worsened by the absence of periodical maintenance of the drainage, with the inevitable result that they fail to withstand the onslaught of the monsoons. The pace of execution of any drainage project is also hindered by the fact that the lean season from October to March is rarely utilized properly. Even now, very little work on maintenance and periodical cleaning of the drains has been done and given that the State witnesses rains from April onwards, the citizens will have to face a torrid time during the rainy season. The failure to utilize the rainless season not just slows down project execution but also affects quality control and causes cost escalation. The Government needs to take serious note of this practice and ensure that projects are undertaken during the lean season. Anomalous implementation of projects is another concern. Since developmental works are funded with public money, the Government must be vigilant against any quality compromise and ensure transparent and accountable implementation. Over the years the recurring phenomenon of flash floods and water-logging in the city typifies the lack of sincerity and utter shortsightedness of our government authorities entrusted with the maintenance of civic amenities. Crucial aspects such as scientific assessment of the phenomenon in its entirety and periodical maintenance of the existing drainage are invariably ignored, worsening the situation. A scientific assessment of the problem holds the key to finding a lasting solution, as Guwahati’s peculiar location surrounded by hills on all sides and the fact that it receives rainwater in huge volumes from the Meghalaya hills on its south have a lot to do with the city’s water-logging. Compared to the voluminous rainwater the city receives, its main storm-water channel, the Bharalu river, does not have enough water discharge capacity. Again, all the major wetlands of the city, i.e., Deepor, the two Sola beels, and Silsako have shrunk considerably in the face of growing anthropogenic pressures, resulting in drastic reduction in their water retention capacity. A complete overhaul of the existing city drainage is a dire need today.
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