GUWAHATI, Jan 6 � Twice last year, in June and again in September, residents of many localities around the city had to cope with floods on an immense scale which brought normal life to a standstill.
Among the worth affected were residents of Nabin Nagar, Anil Nagar and other localities who were left without electricity and running water for days on end.
The reason cited by the authorities for cutting off power supply was fear of electrocution as flood water reached the height of transformers at roadsides and also submerged plug points and electricity mains inside residences.
Later, the Kamrup Metro district administration, in association with ASEB and Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC), organised public meetings and assured residents of various localities that steps would be taken during the dry winter months to raise height of transformers and also facilitate households to do the same with regard to their plug points, electricity mains and inverters.
However, residents of localities like Nabin Nagar now allege that there has been no follow-up action and are apprehensive about a repeat of the harrowing experience of the last monsoon during the coming rainy season as well.
�Our locality is among the worst affected during the monsoon season. Whenever water level rises, electricity is cut off and we have to make do without basic requirements like drinking water as pumps cannot be used. The district administration, GMC and ASEB had assured action with regard to increasing height of transformers and had even organised a public meet at the Sanatan Dharma Sangha immediately after the September deluge. However, since then there has not been any action on the ground,� Dwip Baruah, president of the Nabin Nagar Welfare Society, told The Assam Tribune.
He said that during the meeting, in presence of senior civic and electricity board officials, locals had suggested that meter readers and other ASEB officials should conduct door-to-door awareness among residents regarding safety requirements, including the need to keep inverters at an optimum level.
�Besides, there are many poor households who may not be able to afford to pay for all the materials to allow the electricity board staff to dismantle the plug points and switches located at a lower height and shift them above the highest flood level. Nothing has been done to implement the suggestions,� Baruah said.
Some residents of the locality alleged that ASEB staff seek labour charge for undertaking work to shift meter boxes and mains to a greater height.
�We are ready to pay the cost of materials. But as the ASEB employees are salaried staff, why should we pay labour charges,� said local resident Samarendra Sarma. He said ASEB staff conducted a survey of the Nabin Nagar locality a couple of months back and assured action to raise heights of transformers.
�However, nothing has been implemented on ground yet and if things remain same we will again suffer similar conditions during the coming monsoon,� Sarma said.
Bhadreswar Mali, a resident of Tribeni Path, said the main transformer of his area was earlier located at RB Baruah road but was later shifted to a bylanes.
�It is at a very low height and so electricity had to be cut whenever there is inundation of flood-water and power supply cannot be restored till the water recedes. As ours is a low-lying locality, at times it takes even two-three days for the water to move out and locals face a lot of problems. The district administration should act quickly to remedy the situation as they had promised to do after last year�s artificial flooding,� he said.
Asked about the matter, Kamrup Metro Deputy Commissioner Dr M Angamuthu said work on raising height of the transformers has started and the entire exercise would be completed before end of March.