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Waterlogging shows little signs of abatement


GUWAHATI, May 28 � While the city is yet to recover from the aftereffects of Sunday�s deluge, with many localities still inundated, matters have worsened today with the incessant drizzle that hit the city since morning.

Lack of effective drainage apart, other aspects of inept municipal services were also laid bare by the rains, as a major portion of the filth cleared from drains recently once again found their way back into the drains with the rest lying strewn all over roads and streets.

A deep layer of slush along the roadsides was visible, which will turn into dust once the weather clears and the sun shines for a couple of days.

As usual, the RG Baruah Road and its adjoining localities, such as Nabin Nagar and Anil Nagar, Chandmari, etc., bore the brunt of the rain-induced ravages. Ganeshguri, GS Road and Panjabari, among others, also witnessed severe waterlogging.

Waterlogging, a persistent menace in the capital city, has shown little signs of abatement with a single burst of shower enough to send the city reeling under artificial flood. Over the years, hundreds of crores of rupees have been spent to mitigate the problem but the results have been far from inspiring.

Encroachment, deforestation and earth-cutting on the hills, as also the rapid shrinkage of wetlands in the face of mounting anthropogenic pressures, have been major causes of the city�s waterlogging. The State government, however, has failed to exhibit the kind of sincerity required for tackling the dual menace, with hardly any intervention coming to stop the vandalism being perpetrated on the hills and wetlands.

�Over the years, hundreds of crores of rupees have been spent for ridding the problem of waterlogging but the end result so far has been a big zero, with the menace of artificial floods worsening than before. A complete overhaul of the drainage, besides strict protection to the wetlands and hills are the needs of the hour,� a resident of Chandmari said.

Another disquieting aspect of the city�s waterlogging of late has been that new areas are experiencing the artificial floods. Many areas, where waterlogging was unheard of till a couple of years back, are now regularly bearing the brunt of the menace in the event of a single burst of shower. This shows that the authorities have totally failed to ensure a planned and scientific expansion of the city, with high-rises spurting in every conceivable open space in violation of building laws.

For most people who are enduring the prolonged waterlogging, the situation has been nothing short of a nightmare, with their day-to-day lives being thrown completely haywire during the rainy season.

�Our lives have literally come to a standstill, as we have been compelled to stay inside our inundated homes for days. The more fortunate ones who have alternative accommodations outside have left their houses,� an aggrieved resident of Anil Nagar said.

With communication rendered a very tough proposition on the waterlogged roads and lanes, rickshaw-pullers invariably have a field day, charging as high as Rs 200 for crossing a distance of a hundred metres. People were also seen using boats in the worst-affected localities, such as Anil Nagar, during the last few days.

Resenting the administration�s apathy, another resident said that little was done to pump out the water so that normal life could resume. �The administration should at least provide us with sufficient boats during the deluge. Rickshaws are charging exorbitant amounts for plying on the inundated roads,� he said.

Among the worst-affected have been the children, the elderly and the sick. Students have been forced to remain absent from schools for days together.

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