GUWAHATI, Oct 7 � Contrary to the norms of civic uplift, Guwahati, a major city of the country, has by this time earned the name of a �flood city� derisively because of the ubiquitous flash flood it is facing these days during the rainy days. It is soon earning the derisive name of the �city of venom.� No matter, this city boasts itself as the gateway to the North-eastern part of India.
The city has by this time earned one more contemptuous name of a dirty city because of the obnoxious garbage littering on its roads and localities. But what remains to be acknowledged by most of the people is the fact that the city has gradually been acquiring huge quantities of toxins from the dirt and the sewage its own people are generating, to transform itself into a poisonous city.
Read these two sentences provided by the State Public Information Officer (SPIO) of the Office of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) to RTI activist Rohit Choudhury.
The sentences are � �For treatment of raw sewage, the city it is dependent on individual septic tanks (ST). However, proposal for a sewage plan for the city was submitted to the MoUD (Ministry of Urban Development) and it is under active consideration.�
These two sentences were sent to Choudhury in reply to his query � �Is there any mechanism that exists, where raw sewage of Guwahati city is being treated before being discharged? If yes, kindly provide the details of the same.�
Choudhury also wanted to know the details as to where the untreated sewage is being discharged, if there is no mechanism for the treatment of the sewage of Guwahati city.
In reply to this query of Choudhury, the GMDA SPIO told him � �Keeping aside the provision of septic tank of individuals, the other part of sewage, i.e. used bath water, and kitchen discharge are seen to be discharged into stormwater drain system of the city.�
The SPIO also told Choudhury that, at present for the Guwahati city as a whole, there is no sewage treatment plan. However, sewage treatment plans (STP) are there in certain areas like the Maligaon Railway colony, Noonmati colony of the IOC, and the IIT Guwahati campus. GMDA also constructed an STP (1.5 MLD capacity) at the entrance of Borsola Beel.
These three questions and the GMDA answers to them are self-explaining in so far as the type of hygienic condition existing in Guwahati, said the observers.