GUWAHATI, July 3 - A torrential downpour this afternoon brought back the misery of water-logging and artificial flood to many localities in the city.
The shower, which started just after 3 pm and lasted almost an hour, resulted in flooding in Jorabat, Panjabari, Sarumataria, Down Town, RG Barua road, Anil Nagar, Nabin Nagar, VIP road and many other places. Vehicles, especially two-wheelers and small cars, had a tough time maneuvering through the water-logged streets.
However, today being Sunday, the number of vehicles was less in the roads and so there were not many reports of massive jams. At certain places, rickshaw-pullers were noticed charging much higher than their usual rates to ferry commuters through water-logged streets.
�We have been residents of this area for the past 25 years but the problem of artificial flooding has worsened during last three-four years. There is massive encroachment on the Silsako Beel and other water-bodies and at many low-lying places the administration illegally gave building permits. All these things have worsened the situation,� said Debasish Thakur, a resident of Panjabari.
Officials at the Kamrup Metro district administration said that pumps have been pressed into service at many affected localities to flush out the floodwaters. Asked about the repeated flash floods, social activist Dwip Baruah said that piecemeal measures are not enough to deal with the issue.
�Only using pumps to flush out rainwater is not enough. Work must be undertaken to deal with the problem permanently. Diversion of floodwater is a must. There should be diversion of water at Chandmari and also the run-off water from Meghalaya hills. Besides, there is a need for dredging of the water-bodies and work must be undertaken to increase the retaining capacity of the water-bodies,� said Baruah, who has been involved in the efforts of the social welfare associations to find a solution to the problem of flash floods.
He said the new State government should tackle the problem of artificial flood in Guwahati on a priority basis.