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Dibrugarh NGO approaches PM, CM to solve waterlogging problem

By The Assam Tribune
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GUWAHATI, July 26 - Ten successive years of suffering from severe waterlogging in Dibrugarh town resulting in violation of the citizens� rights to life and dignity as per Article 21 of the Constitution of India has again prompted the Policy Group for Peoples� Rights (PGPR), Dibrugarh, Assam, a leading NGO of Upper Assam to approach both the Chief Minister of Assam and the Prime Minister of India yet again this month.

Expressing grave concern about the deteriorating waterlogging problem that has been plaguing Dibrugarh town, the president of PGPR, Dr Aradhana Kataki pointed out in a press release that in spite of repeated appeals from the public, no effective action appears to have been taken to address the problem in a comprehensive manner, which has been continuing since 2008 . Even the various orders and directions given by the Gauhati High Court in response to a PIL filed by PGPR in 2010 have not been heeded to by the concerned authorities. Short-term steps agreed to by the Government in response to court orders have been seen to be inadequate and more often than not measures like using pumps were done only on public insistence.

The manner of implementation of Dibrugarh Drainage Project funded by DoNER Ministry under NLCPR which seems to be the only project being undertaken to address the problem of severe and prolonged waterlogging in the worst-affected areas like Jibon Phukan Nagar, Khonia Gaon and East Milon Nagar has raised serious apprehensions among the public about the quality and effectiveness of the project. Therefore, the PGPR has written to the Chief Minister of Assam to institute an immediate high-level independent enquiry to pinpoint lapses if any so that those responsible may be held accountable and loopholes plugged, to rule out the possibility of waste of the tax payer�s money and also to determine whether the considerable amount of money spent since 2008 in the name of long and short-term remedial measures for waterlogging has not been wasteful expenditure. In addition, the PGPR has proposed that a qualified, accredited drainage expert be appointed immediately to look into the matter and also to design a scientific drainage system based on accurate data to solve the problem of waterlogging permanently in Dibrugarh. The PGPR has also appealed to the Prime Minister for directions and advice in this regard to the concerned authorities and has also informed the DoNER minister about these apprehensions.

Although rainfall has been normal this year, residents of Jibon Phukan Nagar, East Milon Nagar and Khonia Gaon have had to live in inundated houses surrounded by stagnant water for over a week and exposed to the threat of water-borne diseases. This naturally causes fear in this season of water-borne diseases. There is also great financial loss, physical discomfort and mental trauma. The PGPR expressed anguish that even such misery has failed to move the Government to treat the problem at Dibrugarh with the required urgency.

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Dibrugarh NGO approaches PM, CM to solve waterlogging problem

GUWAHATI, July 26 - Ten successive years of suffering from severe waterlogging in Dibrugarh town resulting in violation of the citizens� rights to life and dignity as per Article 21 of the Constitution of India has again prompted the Policy Group for Peoples� Rights (PGPR), Dibrugarh, Assam, a leading NGO of Upper Assam to approach both the Chief Minister of Assam and the Prime Minister of India yet again this month.

Expressing grave concern about the deteriorating waterlogging problem that has been plaguing Dibrugarh town, the president of PGPR, Dr Aradhana Kataki pointed out in a press release that in spite of repeated appeals from the public, no effective action appears to have been taken to address the problem in a comprehensive manner, which has been continuing since 2008 . Even the various orders and directions given by the Gauhati High Court in response to a PIL filed by PGPR in 2010 have not been heeded to by the concerned authorities. Short-term steps agreed to by the Government in response to court orders have been seen to be inadequate and more often than not measures like using pumps were done only on public insistence.

The manner of implementation of Dibrugarh Drainage Project funded by DoNER Ministry under NLCPR which seems to be the only project being undertaken to address the problem of severe and prolonged waterlogging in the worst-affected areas like Jibon Phukan Nagar, Khonia Gaon and East Milon Nagar has raised serious apprehensions among the public about the quality and effectiveness of the project. Therefore, the PGPR has written to the Chief Minister of Assam to institute an immediate high-level independent enquiry to pinpoint lapses if any so that those responsible may be held accountable and loopholes plugged, to rule out the possibility of waste of the tax payer�s money and also to determine whether the considerable amount of money spent since 2008 in the name of long and short-term remedial measures for waterlogging has not been wasteful expenditure. In addition, the PGPR has proposed that a qualified, accredited drainage expert be appointed immediately to look into the matter and also to design a scientific drainage system based on accurate data to solve the problem of waterlogging permanently in Dibrugarh. The PGPR has also appealed to the Prime Minister for directions and advice in this regard to the concerned authorities and has also informed the DoNER minister about these apprehensions.

Although rainfall has been normal this year, residents of Jibon Phukan Nagar, East Milon Nagar and Khonia Gaon have had to live in inundated houses surrounded by stagnant water for over a week and exposed to the threat of water-borne diseases. This naturally causes fear in this season of water-borne diseases. There is also great financial loss, physical discomfort and mental trauma. The PGPR expressed anguish that even such misery has failed to move the Government to treat the problem at Dibrugarh with the required urgency.