GUWAHATI, Jan 25 � The Public Works Department, Assam has started the construction of a cross-culvert at the Zoo-Narengi Tiniali along the RG Baruah Road here. According to departmental sources, the construction has been undertaken to divert the floodwaters from the western side of the road to the refinery drain on the eastern side.
But the citizens of the area feel that the eastern side of the road is at a higher elevation than the other side and the construction of this culvert will only lead to the flow of storm water towards the western side and will aggravate the problem of flash floods in the Nabin Nagar and Anil Nagar areas of the city which lie on the western side of the RG Baruah Road. As soon as the work of excavation was started on January 22, the people of the Nabin Nagar and Anil Nagar areas came out in large numbers and gathered at the site of the construction.
According to a press release, a delegation led by Dwip Baruah, president, Nabin Nagar Welfare Society, went to the office of the EE (PWD), Guwahati City Division-III and requested him in writing to stop the work. On account of the holidays from January 23 to 26, no higher authorities could be contacted by the people of the flood-prone areas. A delegation of the Nabin Nagar Welfare Society and Sankardev Sewa Samity of Nabin Nagar have requested the Commissioner of PWD to stop the work. The matter was also brought to the notice of the GMDA chairman, Dhiren Baruah over the phone.
Baruah visited the site on January 24 and addressed a gathering of representatives of the welfare societies on the premises of the Sanatan Dharma Sabha on the RG Baruah Road. Representatives of Save Guwahati Build Guwahati also attended the meeting.
The GMDA Chairman was of the view that if the construction of the new cross-culvert worsens the problem of waterlogging in the Anil Nagar and Nabin Nagar areas, it should be stopped immediately. He also informed the gathering that necessary flood mitigation steps would be initiated by his office after consultation with the people of the areas who have been suffering for decades.
The representatives of the Nabin Nagar Welfare Society, Sanatan Dharma Sabha, Anil Nagar Rajgarh Road Welfare Society, Sankardev Sewa Samity, Lakhimi Path Senduri-Ali Welfare Society, Ambikagiri Nagar Unnayan Samity and Madhya Pub Nabin Nagar Welfare Society expressed satisfaction over the step initiated by Baruah.
Baruah has also arranged a meeting of the CEO and technical officers of the GMDA, Commissioner, PWD and representatives of the welfare societies to discuss the problem and finalise the future course of action. The meeting will be held at the GMDA at 11.30 am on January 27, the release added.