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Rains throw city life out of gear

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, April 17 � It was a deluge of water born of pre-monsoon rains that ruined the routine life of thousands of people in and around Guwahati today. Office-goers, just emerging from Bihu festivities, were caught unaware by the morning showers, and many of them were stranded at bus stops, and worse, midway to work.

The rains that started in the morning caused water to engulf a number of neighbourhoods and major routes, much to the distress of citizens who wrongly thought that drainage in Guwahati had improved after costly government interventions.

On the arterial GNB Road, traffic movement resembled a crawl after the downpour brought in water and soil on to the road, impeding vehicles for more than two hours. In the mayhem that followed smaller vehicles were compelled to stop, while larger ones managed to keep the engines running.

Nayan Bhuyan, a young professional told this correspondent that he had to spend more than an hour to traverse about a kilometre on the GNB Road in the morning. �The bus that I was on made slow progress because the road was flooded and choked with vehicles,� he remarked. Even after the deluge was over, the road was covered by veneer of red soil, apparently brought down from the nearby hills.

Not unexpectedly, the RGB Baruah Road also came under a carpet of water from around nine in the morning. At least at three stretches, the road came under knee deep water as a result of which vehicular movement was seriously constrained.

Another main route of the city, AT Road also came under water for hours in the morning. Following the downpour, the Athgaon flyover saw severe congestion.

At Gandhi Basti, Natun Sarania, Santipur, waterlogging persisted for several hours following showers in the morning and night. Residents told this correspondent that it was a perennial problem that the authorities concerned have failed to address for long.

Residents of Dhirenpara also complained of inundation of the drains, and pointed out that the situation happened because of the absence of proper drainage systems. Interestingly, parts of Pan Bazaar also witnessed waterlogging for some time after the rains.

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