GUWAHATI, June 22 � Incessant rains last night transformed the city into a body of water and filth, bringing normal life of the citizens to a grinding halt today.
The rainwater inundated city roads, by-lanes and residential areas, giving the people a harrowing time for hours. Many city areas including lanes and by-lanes continued to be under water till filing of this report this evening.
The inadequacy of the existing drainage was exposed once again, as people braved ankle- to knee-deep waters in many areas to pursue their day-to-day activities in the morning.
As usual, the RG Baruah Road and its adjoining localities such as Nabin Nagar and Anil Nagar, Chandmari, etc., bore the brunt of the rain-induced ravages. Ganeshguri, parts of the GS Road and Panjabari, among other areas, also witnessed severe water-logging.
To add to the commuters� woes, the public transport services including city buses and trekkers virtually came to a halt for quite some time during the morning hours.
Water-logging, a persistent menace in the capital city, has shown little signs of abatement with a single burst of shower being enough to send the city reeling under artificial flood. Over the years, hundreds of crores of rupees have been spent to mitigate the problem, but the results have been far from satisfactory.
Encroachment, deforestation and earth-cutting on the hills, as also the rapid shrinkage of wetlands in the face of mounting anthropogenic pressures, have been a major cause of water-logging in the city. The State Government, however, has failed to exhibit the kind of sincerity required for tackling the dual menace, with hardly any intervention coming to stop the vandalism being perpetrated on the hills and wetlands.
Another disquieting aspect of water-logging of late has been that new and new areas are experiencing the artificial floods. Many areas where water-logging was unheard of till a couple of years back are now regularly bearing the brunt of the menace in the event of a single burst of shower. This shows that the authorities have totally failed to ensure a planned, scientific expansion of the city, with high-rises spurting in every conceivable open space in violation of building laws.