Flash floods hit Jorabat again

Residents blame unscientific construction for deluge

GUWAHATI: A smart shower on Tuesday morning was all it took to trigger flash floods near the flyover at the Jorabat tri-junction yet again this monsoon season, with vehicles stranded in the deluge and stuck in snarls.
The Kamrup metro district administration had recently conducted a five-day eviction drive across a 5.6km stretch in the area to clear a rivulet near the national highway upto Byrnihat on the Assam-Meghalaya border, dismantling 220 structures in the process.
Yet the problem, which residents say has haunted them every monsoon for the past seven to eight years in particular, surfaces after a few minutes of rain. Some are blaming unscientific construction in the area as the root cause.
“The area near the flyover that witnesses floods and waterlogging after ever shower is low lying and given the clogged drain, there is hardly any way for the water to take its natural course. Besides, there is a culvert which needs to be raised as well, ” a resident said.
All Assam Students Union, Kamrup metro unit general secretary, Dibyajyoti Medhi alleged that the authorities had changed the detailed project report thrice before construction of the flyover to “suit the interests of some business establishments in the area”. “So the area that witnesses floods was kept low and commuters and residents are bearing the brunt now. If you see, the ends of the flyover are higher than the middle portion beneath,” Medhi told The Shillong Times on Tuesday.
The students union had time and again reminded the authorities that the drain from Jorabat to Byrnihat is less than six feet wide in some stretches as against 20 to 22 feet prescribed on the map. “So how can the drain take the water out. Moreover, the problem compounds because of earth cutting on the hills of Meghalaya and the outlets get clogged by mud after a shower,” he said.
The union leader however said that an AASU delegation will meet the Kamrup metro deputy commissioner next week to apprise him of the problem and request him to take up the matter with his counterpart in neighbouring Ri Bhoi district. “We will meet the DC and request him to take up the matter with the Ri Bhoi district administration to stop such earth cutting,” he said.
Jorabat tri-junction connects Guwahati, the gateway to the Northeast, to Meghalaya and Mizoram on one side, and to Upper Assam on the other.
Encroachment, improper drainage and rainwater flowing from the hills of Meghalaya are factors that contribute to the deluge, residents say.