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Guwahati floods: ADB assistance sought

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, July 19 - The State government has sought Rs 400 crore from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to address the artificial flood woes of Guwahati. The Centre too has asked the ADB to consider the plea on a priority basis. The fund will be used to widen the drains and purchase high-power pumps to flush out rainwater.

This was informed by Guwahati Development Department Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma in reply to a question raised by AGP�s Ramendra Narayan Kalita during Zero Hour today.

Sarma said, �The problem of artificial flood is multi-faceted, which requires a multi-dimensional approach. Additional Chief Secretary MGVK Bhanu has been entrusted with the responsibility to hold discussions with the local legislators, public and experts to devise ways and means to mitigate the perennial issue.�

�We will come up with ward-specific plans to deal with the issue and the Guwahati Municipal Corporation will be the single nodal agency. Departments like irrigation and flood control will have very little say. The ward oriented plan will be executed once the rainy season is over,� Sarma said.

He said the department would initiate a slew of measures in the next two to three years, which include channelising the Bahini River and several other routes and also digging out new drains, besides strengthening the old ones. �A plan to set up new high-power pumping stations has also been included in the plan,� he said.

Areas like Bondajan and Deepor Beel will also be marked and incorporated in the Guwahati Water Bodies (Preservation and Conservation) Act.

A written statement by Sarma said the GDD in 2015-2016 released Rs 1,577.43 lakh for cleaning and desilting drains in Guwahati. Earlier, Kalita said Rs 216 crore was spent to clean clogged city drains in 15 years.

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