GUWAHATI, Feb 17: Expressing concern at the lackadaisical attitude of the authorities over the deteriorating condition of the drains in the old localities of Guwahati, the residents of Saraswati Road, Panbazar have urged the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) to take stringent action against the flat owners dumping their waste in the drains flouting all norms.

Panbazar, one of the oldest and prime localities of the capital city, which on the one hand has seen rapid concretisation over the years, is also paying the cost of the same in the form of massive waterlogging and traffic jams because of its narrow lanes and byelanes, besides encroachments on the footpaths.

With new buildings coming up in Panbazar area on a regular basis, the area’s population too has increased by leaps and bounds. But the scanty civic amenities and ignorance of the civic authorities towards various issues of the entire locality have caused immense inconvenience to the residents, especially the elderly people living in the area for decades.

“Many new building owners have resorted to the practice of dumping their waste in the roadside drains flouting all norms. In this context, recently the residents of the area even complained against the flat owners of Saraswati’s Garima building on Saraswati Road in Panbazar Ward Number 10. The waste blocks the mouth of the culvert and the inner drain. Since the locality already has a massive waterlogging problem, such activities should be immediately stopped by the GMC,” a concerned resident of Panbazar said.

The locals also affirmed that since the Panbazar drains, constructed long back, do not have adequate discharge capacity to take the load of the present population, all forms of encroachments should be removed on a priority basis.

“The drain that used to be 10 feet wide earlier has now been reduced to just two-and-a-half-feet. Unless swift action is taken, the entire drainage system will collapse in Panbazar area in no time,” social activist Ajoy Dutta said.

Dutta also said that despite several complaints lodged with the GMC Joint Commissioner, the Executive Engineer and other higher authorities, no action has been taken so far to stop the building owners from dumping their waste in the drains.

“Also, some of the flat owners throw garbage, discarded wrappers etc., from their windows, without caring for the problems caused to the neighbours,” Dutta further mentioned.