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GMDA mulling ways to solve waterlogging

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, July 12 - Reiterating the Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority�s (GMDA) stand to find a permanent solution to the urban flood problem of the city, GMDA chairman Dhiren Baruah today said that only preventive measures would not bring about the desired changes unless permanent and sustainable steps were taken.

Denying the reports of the GMDA receiving any funds from the Asian Development Bank with regard to introducing urban flooding solutions in Guwahati city, he said that the GMDA is prepared to extend all possible services and work hand in hand with other stakeholders to solve the waterlogging issue of Guwahati.

�The city has started facing this problem since 1998-99, worsening gradually in the subsequent years. Indiscriminate and haphazard development of the city, inadequate drainage network, absence of separate sewerage system and inadequate garbage management system are the main causes and the drains of Guwahati have to face the burden due to this,� Baruah said.

As the primary drainage system of the city comprising Bahini, Bharalu, Mora Bharalu and Basistha rivers are presently overburdened as sewage system, garbage dumping and stormwater drainage, the result is waterlogging in low-lying areas.

The GMDA had taken an initiative for a comprehensive drainage and sewerage system to address urban flooding and the DPR was submitted to the Government of India. Important issues like development of the water bodies, drainage network, silt trap, garbage trap, diversion of flood water, pumping arrangements, etc., were incorporated and it also emphasised on the flood water coming from the Meghalaya catchment area.

According to the GMDA chairman, work has been taken up by the authorities for developing water bodies and increasing their water retention capacity to hold diverted storm water and its channelization to the Brahmaputra river without affecting public life.

�This measure is necessary to achieve a permanent solution. The GMDA may be involved in a bigger and planned way to develop the water bodies to address urban flooding, maintaining ecological balance in and around the city through a comprehensive DPR. The GMDA has also incorporated rainwater harvesting in its building bye-laws. The need of the hour is to implement rainwater harvesting by every high-rise building which will help in recharging our ground water and reducing the impact of storm water flooding to a great extent,� added Baruah.

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