GUWAHATI, July 11 - The only solution to the flash flood problem of Guwahati lies in diverting all the speedy streams and rivers flowing from the Meghalaya hills to Pamohi river, or to the Deepor Beel through a master drain along the National Highway 37. This was observed by noted consultant engineer JN Khataniyar.
Khataniyar said in a statement here today that the three streams or rivers � Bahini, Basistha and Bharalu � originating from the Meghalaya hills, have now lost their original stormwater carrying capacities mainly because of the heavy loads of silt and encroachment on their channels.
These rivers have no scope for further widening of their channels or being excavated to add depth to their courses. The guard or flood walls constructed along these rivers have made such excavations impossible, as the walls are raised from very shallow foundations, he said.
On the other hand, negligence of the authorities concerned towards cleaning the drains and river courses on time has also added to the problem of flash flood, said Khataniyar.
He regretted that the unanimous decision adopted at a high-level meeting held by the Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) on the alternate drainage channel for diversion of Meghalaya stormwater on July 14, 2014, has remained to be honoured.
The participants at the meeting, who included representatives of the Guwahati Municipal Corporation, IIT Guwahati, Public Works Department, Water Resources Department, National Highway Authority of India, Forest Department, State Disaster Management Authority, Assam Science Technology and Environment Council and the GMDA, among others, were unanimous on the above solution suggested by him (Khataniyar), he said.
In that meeting, GMDA had appraised that M/s Tahal Consultancy Group had prepared the detailed project report (DPR) for the Drainage Master Plan of Guwahati, wherein they had suggested four stormwater diversions, including one south of NH 37 byepass to the Pamohi river. The DPR has been prepared on the basis of rainfall data of 15 minutes interval. The Asian Development Bank has sanctioned an amount of Rs 375 crore for the Guwahati Drainage Project and the same is awaiting clearance from the Department of Economic Affairs under the Central Ministry of Finance.
Therefore, once the proposal for diversion of the Meghalaya stormwater is finalised there would be enough funds to carry out the project, he said, quoting the GMDA statement made in that meeting. He rued that all such exercises have been made redundant by the lack of initiative on the part of the authorities concerned.