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Govt apathy behind drainage-related woes of city

By Ajit Patowary

GUWAHATI, Oct 23 � The drainage-related woes of Guwahati started with the Government�s contravening the 1971 Drainage Master Plan of the city prepared by the Calcuttal Metropolitan Development Organisation (CMDO) said noted engineer Indrajit Barua, who has been working on the Guwahati drainage problems of the city for around two decades.

Barua told The Assam Tribune that this is the reason why the drains constructed by different agencies of the Government at a cost of Rs 40 crore had to be given up as �abandoned� some years back.

For creating the city�s storm water drainage system, steps like updating the storm water runoff calculation to account for increase due to urbanization, designing and constructing drains to cope with the runoff at any given time with margins for increased runoff over the years, earmarking or acquiring land along the Bharalu for re-sectioning it to increase its holding capacity should have been taken.

The storm water runoff increases as the density of buildings, roads and other impermeable surfaces increases in a given area. The storm water runoff in 1971 would have been much less than what it is today. Therefore, in any urban habitat while planning drainage systems, planners have to take into account the runoff amplified by increased urbanisation.

Designing and constructing drains to cope with the runoff might have been done with the aid of the established scientific and rational mathematical models of hydrology and hydraulics, taking into account the recommendations and the database provided by the CMDO, which has later named as Calcutta Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA).

There was also the need to earmark or acquire land for accommodating reservoirs for storm water drainage in the future so that nothing else can be constructed in such locations.

The problem is that various departments of the State government and others, like the North East Frontier Railway authorities, have never cared to design and construct storm water drains in keeping with the statutory provisions of the 1971 Master Plan.

Practically every department responsible for construction of drains in their respective domains, has constructed drains in an ad-hoc manner, without regard to the provisions of the 1971 Master Plan. Their only concern is to drain out the storm water of the immediate area under their control, without bothering to know whether the drains they are laying would inundate the neighbouring areas or not.

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Govt apathy behind drainage-related woes of city

GUWAHATI, Oct 23 � The drainage-related woes of Guwahati started with the Government�s contravening the 1971 Drainage Master Plan of the city prepared by the Calcuttal Metropolitan Development Organisation (CMDO) said noted engineer Indrajit Barua, who has been working on the Guwahati drainage problems of the city for around two decades.

Barua told The Assam Tribune that this is the reason why the drains constructed by different agencies of the Government at a cost of Rs 40 crore had to be given up as �abandoned� some years back.

For creating the city�s storm water drainage system, steps like updating the storm water runoff calculation to account for increase due to urbanization, designing and constructing drains to cope with the runoff at any given time with margins for increased runoff over the years, earmarking or acquiring land along the Bharalu for re-sectioning it to increase its holding capacity should have been taken.

The storm water runoff increases as the density of buildings, roads and other impermeable surfaces increases in a given area. The storm water runoff in 1971 would have been much less than what it is today. Therefore, in any urban habitat while planning drainage systems, planners have to take into account the runoff amplified by increased urbanisation.

Designing and constructing drains to cope with the runoff might have been done with the aid of the established scientific and rational mathematical models of hydrology and hydraulics, taking into account the recommendations and the database provided by the CMDO, which has later named as Calcutta Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA).

There was also the need to earmark or acquire land for accommodating reservoirs for storm water drainage in the future so that nothing else can be constructed in such locations.

The problem is that various departments of the State government and others, like the North East Frontier Railway authorities, have never cared to design and construct storm water drains in keeping with the statutory provisions of the 1971 Master Plan.

Practically every department responsible for construction of drains in their respective domains, has constructed drains in an ad-hoc manner, without regard to the provisions of the 1971 Master Plan. Their only concern is to drain out the storm water of the immediate area under their control, without bothering to know whether the drains they are laying would inundate the neighbouring areas or not.