To find a solution to the perennial problem of waterlogging in the Amerigog Jorabat area of Guwahati, a public meeting was held in the presence of Kamrup (Metro) district administration officials, Ri-Bhoi district administration officials and the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) officials at Jorabat on Friday.
Addressing the meeting, Kamprup (Metro) Deputy Commissioner (DC), Virendra Mittal, appealed to the people to co-operate with the local administration to solve the issue.
Addressing the gathering, Mittal observed, “Illegal construction on Government land and right on top of the arterial drain, which is the case in the said area, leads to waterlogging as water cannot flow freely. Lack of general civic sense among the people leads to clogged drains and blocking of the arterial drainage system which further aggravates the waterlogging problem.”
Mittal directed the municipal authorities to take “necessary steps” to clean the clogged drains and facilitate “free flow of rain water”. “Use nets in the drains wherever possible so that the garbage which blocks the drains can be separated easily,” he further instructed the civic authorities.
Meanwhile, the local people alleged that the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) personnel did not construct the drains in a scientific manner along that portion of National Highway (NH) 27 which falls under the jurisdiction of Meghalaya.
Harkanta Saikia, a resident of Amerigog Jorabat and member of the Jorabat Development Committee, alleged, “The NHAI has constructed the drains (falling on Meghalaya side) without proper planning. The authorities did not do their homework properly and the drains have not been constructed in a scientific manner.”
He further alleged that despite repeated reminders to the Meghalaya Government to help curb the water logging problem, they “have not initiated any steps and even the Ri-Bhoi district administration has just remained a mute spectator”.
“Excavation in the hills inside the Meghalaya border is the main reason behind the waterlogging problem. The rain water carries silt which blocks the drains and consequently Jorabat, along with the adjacent areas, gets inundated,” Saikia further stated.
The Additional Deputy Commissioner, Pulak Mahanta, Circle Officer of Sonapur Revenue Circle, Jennifer Y Choudhury, District Disaster Management Officer, Ri-Bhoi district, K Wanning along with NHAI officials was present in the meeting.