GUWAHATI, July 13 – The anti-encroachment drive undertaken by the Kamrup Metro district administration to clear blockages hindering the flow of rainwater to major water bodies in the city completed a fortnight today with the authorities clearing a number of illegal structures at National Highway 37 and other places.
Senior district administration officials told The Assam Tribune that over 3,500 metre length of drains was cleared along the NH 37 near the city. “Besides, we have also demolished 17 shops along the boundary of the ISBT. All of them had been set up illegally,” an official said.
Besides, a drive was also carried out from Tripura Road to Nidhi Bhavan along the highway. A total of 25 shops, two concrete houses, five boundary walls and many other bamboo walls were cleared in the drive.
The district administration has since yesterday expanded the drive to NH 37 and plans are afoot to clear encroachments from Khanapara to Jalukbari.
GUWAHATI, July 21 – The Kamrup Metro district administration today started revenue survey of major water-bodies in the city – Borsola, Sarusola, Bondajan and Deepor Beel – as well as of low-lying and flood-prone localities including Lachit Nagar, Rajgarh, Tarun Nagar, Nabin Nagar and Pub-Sarania.
Officials said the survey is intended to identify encroachments at such locations so that the problem can been tackled in a better manner.
Meanwhile, Kamrup Metro Additional DC Rajib Kumar Baruah has been asked to study and identify ways to ensure proper flow of rain-water out of Anil Nagar and other such localities. He will consult with locals, civic organizations and other concerned stakeholders.
Dr M Angamuthu, Kamrup Metro DC (in-charge) has directed that pump sets be kept ready on 24-hour standby to deal with any contingency.
Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) staff conducted inspections at Fancy Bazar and Paltan Bazar localities today and seized a huge quantity of illegal plastic bags of below 40 microns.
BAIHATA CHARIALI, July 22 – The people of North Kamrup area have welcomed the eviction drive in Guwahati city and demanded its extension to the outskirts of the city. The people of North Kamrup area, including activists of the North Kamrup Agriculture Land Preservation Committee and other organisations, have lauded the steps taken by the Kamrup district authority against the encroachers in the city. On the same lines, they have demanded of the district authority and the State-government to continue the eviction drive on either side of the National Highway-31.
Members of the North Kamrup Agriculture Land Preservation Committee alleged that a number of plots of land under the North Guwahati and Kamalpur Revenue Circle Offices have been encroached on by non-Assamese traders in the name of industrialisation in the State, which is totally illegal. They said that in North Guwahati, Gauripur, Changsari, Amingaon, Sindurighopa, Pacharia Baihata and Kamalpur, a number of so-called industries have been established which are only meant to earn profits for corporate groups and are not in the interest of the public. This has resulted in the shrinkage of agricultural land and created artificial floods, waterlogging and other problems to farmers.
In a meeting of the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) held recently at Kolazol, Akhil Gogoi, KMSS president, alleged that a number of plots of government land have been encroached on by some industrialists on either side of the National Highway-31 by “managing” some corrupt officers. Some of these industries have damaged agricultural land and disturbed the normal water flow into rivers and pits. On the other hand, some industrialists have blocked the waterways and small channels by constructing big walls and other infrastructural structures that has also created problems to farmers.
In Kolazol near Baihata, the embankment along the Kolazol river has been encroached on by industrialists and at Baihata, a paper mill had encroached on government land. The district administration carried out an eviction drive recently, but it did not carry out any eviction operation in Kolazol despite repeated demands by the public.
Similarly, the people of the greater area have demanded an eviction drive at Changsari and Sindurighopa where a number of big plots of land, which are generally low-lying, have been filled up with red soil, blocking water outlets.
The public here have demanded the district authority to carry out its eviction drive without bias and extend it to the outskirts of the city and also to stop the encroachment and cutting of hills in the North Kamrup area.
GUWAHATI, Aug 21 – The havoc wreaked on the streets of Guwahati by rain on Wednesday, once again highlighted the fact that a lot still remains to be done to address the root cause of waterlogging in the city.
As the rest of Guwahati struggled with filth and slippery roads today, several streets and bye-lanes still remained submerged in ankle to knee-deep water, which has become the fate of Guwahatians during the monsoons.
As water pumps installed to flush out water in the worst-hit areas of the city were pressed into action immediately after the rains stopped, it did little to minimise the woes of the people, due to their inadequate capacity and their mishandling at several places of the city.
Anil Nagar and Nabin Nagar, two localities which have always been the worst hit during flash floods, were still submerged in water on Thursday. With schools, colleges and offices remaining closed due to the Assam bandh, most of the residents of these places chose not to come out to brave the ankle to knee-deep water at patches.
“We postponed our daily errands today as it was impossible to take out our two-wheelers or four-wheelers on the streets. Rickshaw-pullers also triple their fares. These apart, it is not convenient to go out as we are not sure which route to take,” said Chinmoy Choudhury, a resident of Nabin Nagar area.
The sudden rain that caught the people unawares yesterday, damaged several vehicles and kept the commuters stranded on roads for several hours.
“The waterlogging problem continues to worsen in the city despite measures taken and funds spent in the name of this problem. This only underlines that authorities are still beating around the bush without addressing the root cause,” said Dhiresh Deka, an advocate.
Several residents of Guwahati expressed their anger on the ‘futile exercise’ of clearing the drains and launching eviction drives that failed to minimise the woes of the citizens.
Defending the government action, Executive Engineer of the State Water Resource Department DK Roy, said that due to clearing of water channels, the water receded faster from many areas of the city. “More results would be visible once the natural flow of water is restored through the major channels. A total of 15 pumps are flushing out water from the affected localities and Anil Nagar, Nabin Nagar and Rajgarh will be de-waterlogged shortly,” he said.
The residents of four bye-lanes of Rajgarh, however, faced waterlogging for the entire day today. Strangely enough, the water pumped out from Rajgarh was being released on the adjacent Pub Sarania Road, another badly affected street of the area.
“Without finding a proper water exit point, water is being pumped out on Pub Sarania Road from Rajgarh bye-lanes, where most of the drains are blocked or dead. Such strange acts of the administration defy any logic,” a resident of Pub Sarania complained