GUWAHATI, June 22 - For the second time in a span of mere nine days, Guwahati witnessed massive artificial flooding as a heavy early morning downpour resulted in many localities getting submerged, even as a person died due to electrocution after coming into contact with a live wire.
The death of Dulal Malakar (30) takes the number of flash-flood victims in the city this year to six. Five persons had died during the deluge of June 13.
Malakar died this morning after an overhead electric wire snapped from a pole and fell into the flooded street at Sugam Path, RG Baruah Road, said an APDCL official.
He hailed from Dakhin Singara, Demow, near Rangiya.
�The incident happened while Malakar was walking towards his residence after completing his night-shift duty at KFC, RG Baruah Road. A piece of damaged aluminium electric wire got detached from the electric pole and fell on the road. Malakar stepped into the live wire and died instantly. This has happened due to lapse on the part of APDCL. Necessary action will be taken in this regard,� Kamrup Metro Deputy Commissioner Dr M Angamuthu said.
With this, the total number of deaths due to electrocution during flood in Guwahati this year has reached three, with two of the deaths on June 13 also occurring due to the same reason.
Dr Angamuthu said an enquiry has been ordered to ascertain the �facts and circumstances� leading to the death and to look into any lapse on the part of anyone. Additional District Magistrate Palash Protim Bora will conduct the enquiry.
APDCL has, meanwhile, suspended two officials for dereliction of duty. The suspended officials are SDO Chiranjib Hazarika and Feeder Manager A Saikia.
An APDCL official said that a detailed enquiry has been ordered regarding the incident at Sugam Path.
�Generally, we carry out regular checking of wires, transformers and other equipment. But sometimes, due to wear and tear, wires and other equipment tend to break down or snap, especially during rainfall or when the water level goes up. Today also, as per reports, the fire snapped and hit the flooded street as Malakar was passing through the area and that is how the incident happened. However, details will only emerge when the enquiry is completed,� he said, adding that as per the Chief Minister�s order APDCL has sanctioned Rs 2.5 lakh for the family of the deceased and Malakar�s wife is likely to be given a job in the department.
Locals at Sugam Path complained that despite repeated complaints to the district administration and APDCL regarding the presence of live wires hanging at various places during recent months, no action was taken to rectify the situation.
They alleged that even after the incident of electrocution this morning there was undue delay in the arrival of APDCL and SDRF teams to the area.
Locals protested against the lackadaisical attitude of the authorities and demanded that Guwahati Development Department Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, Power Minister Pallab Lochan Das, local MLA Siddhartha Bhattacharya and DC Dr M Angamuthu visit the locality.
The heavy morning showers, which continued for over an hour, inundated many localities of Guwahati and major roads and arteries. Anil Nagar, Nabin Nagar, Tarun Nagar, Bhaskar Nagar, Rajgarh, VIP Road, Panjabari, Six-Mile, Pub-Sarumataria, Last Gate, Bhetapara, Hatigaon, Lakhimi Nagar, Kahilipara Road, Noonmati, Chandmari, RG Baruah Road, GS Road, Guwahati Club, Silpukhuri and many other areas were water-logged.
It caused major problems for morning commuters, office-goers and students. Traffic snarls lasting many hours were witnessed at several locations.
Many schools in the city declared holiday and cancelled exams as students got stuck in traffic jams and schoolbuses and other vehicles were not able to wade through the flooded streets.
While rickshaws, auto-rickshaws and cabs charged exorbitant rates from people, city bus services were suspended during morning hours at many places and car engines reported failure after vehicles got stuck in the flooded streets.
Power supply at many localities was cut off for hours as a precautionary measure.
However, as per district administration and DDMA, there were no reports of landslides from anywhere in the city today.
�But we are maintaining constant vigil in the hilly areas and we urge residents of those areas to remain alert,� said Dr Angamuthu.
On being contacted, a senior GMDA official said that drains in the city are under jurisdiction of different departments. �It is mostly the GMC which is responsible for clean-up and maintenance of drains,� he said.