DIBRUGARH, July 13 - Three days of intermittent rains and Dibrugarh citizens were literally wading through waters all around the city, whether in Jiban Phukan Nagar, Milannagar, Ashok Path or most of Mancotta Road and Keshab Chandra Gogoi Path. The storm-water drainage here leaves much to be desired.
What is appalling is that the total incompetence of the personnel of the agencies and the contractors involved int the execution works of the expensive drainage projects, is a subject of heated discussions in the drawing rooms of thousands of citizens here.
Active civic groups here like the Dibrugarh Nagarik Sangha (DNS) and the Policy Group for People�s Rights (PGPR) have been raising the issue of faulty and sub-standard drain construction works repeatedly. Unfortunately, the government officials seem to be in no mood to listen to the public.
A Rs 24-crore drainage project is currently being executed at the Jiban Phukan Nagar, Milannagar and Nirmaligaon localities here. The project has been funded by DoNER under NLCPR, and the agency overseeing the work is the Dibrugarh Development Authority. The alleged sub-standard work being done by the contractor has repeatedly been objected to by the public, but neither the local Deputy Commissioner�s office nor the development authority has shown any seriousness in correcting the construction faults.
The Pub Milannagar Unnayan Parishad is of the opinion that the sub-standard drain construction work has to be probed and those responsible have to be punished.
The population in the Jiban Phukan Nagar, East Milannagar, Ratanpur and Khaniagaon areas have been suffering immensely due to prolonged water-logging in these localities every year for the past 15 years and more. Even so, the authorities are only interested in palliative works, laments HD Changmai, president of Pub Milannagar Unnayan Parishad. An engineer, Changmai said that he has been painfully witnessing the poor construction quality, even as complaints before government officials draw a blank.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who has been repeatedly harping on transparency and zero tolerance towards corruption, will need to ask government officials in his hometown (Dibrugarh) to be strict in curbing incompetence and corruption in public works, said DNS president Jogendra Nath Borah.
The Sangha had submitted several formal complaints before the Chief Minister, highlighting the corruption, nepotism and incompetence in public works in the city here. All these petitions have elicited zero response till date.
Meanwhile, the city�s acute water-logging problem has remained as worse as it was, 25 years ago. In many localities, the problem has only deteriorated, said Pratap Dey, a citizen of the Jyotinagar area.
The World Bank-funded Dibrugarh main drain renovation work (worth Rs 170 crore in the first phase) has come to a standstill due to serious design flaws. The DNS as well as citizens want it to be a functional drain, while the design was initially such that it would have been a hopeless showpiece with no provision of practical, periodic desilting and cleaning.