|An uprooted tree after the storm in Jorhat on Wednesday. Picture by UB Photos
Jorhat, July 13: Four years down the line, when the drainage scheme initiated by the Jorhat Municipality Board is complete, one hopes the town will not be paralysed after a heavy downpour as it was last night.
Last night, however, the roads were flooded despite the long stretches of drains having been laid at Choladhora, Malow Ali, AT Road and Na-Ali by the Jorhat Development Authority, the PWD and the North Eastern Council.
A sharp shower last night inundated vast tracts of land despite a cleaning drive of drains and eviction of encroachers from Tarajan and other streams that formed a natural drainage network in Jorhat district.
The shower, accompanied by strong winds, not only led to artificial flooding but also uprooted several trees and downed electricity lines. Work was disrupted in banks and many other offices as computers were not functioning.
This has elicited widespread criticism, saying the drains have not been scientifically laid, as a result of which the water did not flow into the natural water bodies but spilt over onto the roads.
The drainage scheme is based on a contour map showing the natural slope of the town. Board chairman Prasanta Bora said the natural gradient of the town was from south-east to northwest as shown on the contour map made by the Silchar-based Barui Survey Company.
The Rs 15.16-crore project that started last month will cover altogether 23.80km, of which only 0.72km have been completed. Of the 19 municipality wards, ward numbers 3, 4, 6, 8 , 9, 14, 15 and 16 have not been covered yet. The board has received Rs 4.01 crore so far and work has been started in five places.
Bora said the total drainage of the town came to 155km, of which only 30 per cent had been made pucca. “The project we have taken up is only a miniscule portion of the 155km and only after we complete the entire length can we say for sure that all the water will be drained out. In order to ensure that engineers do not shirk work, monitoring will be done by the principal of Jorhat Engineering College with the help of students.”
In some areas where waterlogging is a problem but there is no provision of drains, land might have to be acquired from people for the purpose.
“The haphazard growth of the town and mushrooming of new settlements have compounded the problem. We are seeking public co-operation to acquire land in the better interest of the locality to lay drains or they may have to be acquired according to government procedures,” Bora said.
The administration has identified 15 localities facing severe waterlogging, including Digambarchook Nakari, Royal Road, Seuni Ali, Dhenususa and Borigaon.
Nazironibari-Borkhal passing through the northern boundaries of JB College, Tarajan, Kakoti Gaon, Bamun Gaon and Sonari Gaon areas, Tarajan-Shamshan Ghat and Dharmeswar Baruah Path, Suagpur, Bhabanipur, New Colony, Shivpur and Choladhora, Malow Ali, Darangichook, Atila Gaon, Ambikagiri Nagar and Uday Nagar and Nandanpur, Raja Maidam, Bash Bari, Bishnupur and Na-Ali and Satabdi Nagar and the PWD colony.