The downpour on Sunday evening made it very apparent that the Smart City concept is only an attempt to make the residents of the capital city Guwahati have a feel good factor. The smart shower threw normal life out of gear. Vehicular traffic came to a grinding halt at several parts of the city due to water-logging. The water-logging made it evident that the civic authorities of the city have failed to perform their duties. If Sunday’s plight is of any indication, the condition of the city during the rainy season can well be imagined. During monsoons every year, after flash floods create havoc in the premier city of the Northeast, grandiose plans are announced to tackle the problem. But in most of the cases the plans are seldom implemented. The flood scene in the city is increasingly getting worse with every passing year. Life comes to a standstill in several parts of the city due to the flash floods. But nothing tangible has been done so far to mitigate this never-ending problem. Lack of a proper drainage system is one of the root cause behind the city floods. Though at places the authorities have initiated work to construct new drains and improve the existing network of drains, that hasn’t helped much to ease the problem. Utter lack of civic sense and given the chance making the drains an extension of garbage dump at many places have chocked the drains. For many, the Bharalu river has become a convenient place to dump the waste and garbage. As a result the river fails to effectively drain away the water during the flash floods and ends up deluging a number of areas during the rainy season.
The ad hoc approach with which the drains of the city are being cleared will negate the very need of tackling water logging. The silt and waste materials scooped up from the drains are invariably dumped near them. As a result after a shower the waste materials go back to the drains again. Unless a comprehensive plan is formulated and implemented in the right earnest, the residents of the city have no way out but to endure the menace of water-logging during the rainy season. It’s hoped that the stakeholders are able to chalk out strategies to tackle the problem. And the decisions which are taken instead of being on the paper should be implemented. It would be unfair to blame the authorities alone for the present plight of the city. The residents of the city too are equally responsible for it. A coordinated approach by all the stakeholders including the residents is a must to tackle the artificial flood problem of the city head on.