GUWAHATI, Aug 27 � The hue and cry raised by the Guwahatians for decades on the issue of frequent flash floods making life miserable for the people of the MRD/GNB Road areas has failed to make any impact on the PWD authorities. It is a well-known fact that during the rainy days, this arterial road becomes a virtual river with waves of floodwater hitting the on-road vehicles and people precariously and inundating the localities alongside.
According to the Public Works Department (PWD), the drains constructed along the MRD/GNB Road of the city are not storm water drains. Therefore, the question of consideration of design parameters like catchment area, storm intensity, its duration etc., does not arise.
These drains are constructed as roadside longitudinal drains for draining out water from road surface only. For discharge of storm water coming from catchment area, separate drains are to be constructed as per requirement for discharge into the natural outfall.
Moreover, to provide the GNB Road with a little bit high footpath was considered during its construction.
These affirmations were made by the PWD (Road), Guwahati City Division No-1on August 29, 2007, in response to a Right to Information (RTI) application filed by noted engineer Indrajit Barua at the time of reconstruction of the MRD/GNB Road in August that year.
Barua wanted to know, among other things, the design parameters like the details of the design catchment area, the design storm intensity, its duration, the design storm water run-off, the design slopes and the design cross sections of the said drains.
He also wanted to know whether the mandatory provisions of the Service Master Plan in relation to Storm Water Drainage prepared by the Calcutta Metropolitan Development Organisation in 1970-71 have been complied with in designing and constructing the storm water drains.
The PWD told Barua that as the drains are constructed as roadside longitudinal drains to drain out rain water from road surface only, the question of compilation with the mandatory provision of the services master plan in relation to storm water drainage prepared by the Calcutta Metropolitan Development Organisation does not arise.
It needs mention here that the 1970-71 Services Master Plan in relation to Storm Water Drainage was prepared at the behest of the Assam Government by the Calcutta Metropolitan Development Organisation. It was approved by the Assam Legislative Assembly in 1971-72.
The PWD said that since these drains are not constructed to discharge storm water from the catchment area, therefore, the question of fulfilling the purpose of discharging storm water from the large catchment area does not arise.
Barua further wanted to know as to what were the considerations that had prompted the PWD to construct the footpaths with a height of about 300-400 mm above the level of the abutting road instead of 100-150mm.
The PWD said that during the rainy season the road (read as the MRD/GNB Road) gets inundated frequently and the water level goes up to 60cm to 100cm above the road level, which causes immense difficulties to the pedestrian to wade through the knee-deep water. So the construction of a little bit high footpath is considered during construction.
It further said that the standard specification as regard the height of the footpath above road level approved by PWD is generally 200mm but in special cases, the site condition is taken into consideration.