GUWAHATI, July 26 � There is an effort to unite the flash flood-hit people of Guwahati for the first time in the contemporary history of the city. It is expected that this effort will seriously impact all the exercises aimed at deriving political mileage out of the flash flood problem and at the same time upholding the �rights� of the encroachers settling on the city�s wetlands, natural drainage channels, etc.
A meeting of the flash flood-hit people of the city has been convened at 10.30 am tomorrow at the RG Baruah Road Bhaskar Nagar Abasar Binodan Kendra (Recreation Centre) with this aim in view.
Colonel Prafulla Chandra Choudhury, one of the conveners of the meeting, told this newspaper on Friday that deeds flouting the recommendations of the 1971 Drainage Master Plan of the city and the drainage scheme prepared by an Israel firm and on top of all these, overloading the Bharalu, have resulted in the city�s present flash flood problem. This problem is becoming acute gradually.
Almost all of the city�s major water bodies, which were regarded by the 1971 Drainage Master Plan to be the natural reservoirs and channels to store as well as drain out the city�s stormwater to the Brahmaputra and thus to save it from flash flood even after its expansion, are now facing the brunt of encroachment.
The drainage scheme, prepared by the Israel firm in 2009 for the city, had suggested that the water of the Bahini and the stormwater of the East Guwahati areas should be directed to the Brahmaputra through a man-made channel to be laid in the Chunchali area via the Silsako wetland. The Central Government had sanctioned a grant of Rs 125 crore for the purpose.
But the alleged lackadaisical attitude of the authorities resulted in the indiscriminate encroachment on wetlands, the stormwater reservoirs and the hills, which are the sources of the major portion of the city�s storm run-off.
The storm run-off from the Meghalaya hills is also creating the flash flood problem for a vast area of Guwahati these days.
The authorities must ensure reduction in the load of the Bharalu by directing a sizeable amount of the city stormwater to the Brahmaputra through the Chunchali channel via the Silsako wetland, besides keeping the city hills and wetlands free from encroachment, said Col Choudhury.