GUWAHATI, April 1 - With barely a few months left for the monsoons to arrive, the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) has swung into action to minimise the severity of the perennial artificial floods with some new initiatives for effective cleaning of water channels and drains in the city.
Often in the eye of the storm because of ineffective supervision of cleaning of drains, the Corporation, this time, has arranged for a third-party assessment of the entire cleanliness exercise being carried out in the city.
The GMC is looking after cleaning work of 330 drains in the municipal area of the city and five major water channels including the Bharalu, the Bahini, the Basistha and the Mora Bharalu.
�Three institutions of Guwahati � Assam Engineering College, Jalukbari, Assam Engineering Institute, Chandmari and Girls� Polytechnic, Bamunimaidam � have been engaged for a third-party evaluation of the drain cleaning work so that we can get an impartial assessment of the entire exercise. This will not just help us plug the loopholes but also assure the public about the quality of work. The exercise thus would also help in drawing a long-term plan for flash flood mitigation in Guwahati,� Guwahati Mayor Mrigen Sarania told The Assam Tribune.
The GMC has reviewed the cleaning work done so far and instructed the contractors to remove the debris from the spot immediately after cleaning the drains.
The cleaning of 335 drains and channels has been divided into 56 packages to carry out the work.
�During the review, we found that in the areas where work order was given on March 1, nearly 40 per cent of the work has been completed. However, for some other areas, where there was a delay in work order allotment, nearly 30-35 per cent work has been completed. However, all the drains are covered under this package. Nearly 35-40 per cent work of Bharalu cleaning has also been completed,� Sarania added.
The PWD, GMDA and the Water Resource Department have also been involved in the plan. The GMDA is looking after the important part of cleaning the exit points of water bodies including Silsako, Bondajan and Pamohi.
The Corporation has also appealed to the citizens to abstain from throwing garbage in the drains. �It took us nearly 15 days to remove plastic items from the drains. People living near the major water channels have also been asked not to throw garbage there. Citizen committees with ward councillors as presidents and area sabha members, and 12 citizens as members have been formed in every ward to keep a strict vigil. This is the first such initiative taken by the Corporation,� Sarania added.