Rs 750-crore project to revamp Guwahati drainage system

Police, settlers clash as eviction drive enters eighth day

Guwahati: In the wake of worst-ever flood in the city, the administration is working on a Rs 750-crore project to revamp the drainage system of the state capital. “The Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) is working on a scientific drainage plan for the city and a detailed project report for the Rs 750 crore plan has been under discussion. By December, we will be able to take a decision on this,” Kamrup Metro Deputy Commissioner (in-charge) M Angamuthu told reporters here.
The authority is in the process of identifying low lying areas to start a scientific survey to plan a modern drainage system, he said.
On the eviction drive, which continued for the eighth day, Angamuthu said, “We have completed around 80 per cent of the work and it will continue for a few more days.”
The primary objective of the authorities was to clear the water routes and wetlands, he said adding eviction was being carried out on the banks of Bharalu, Basistha and Bahini rivers along with Silsako and Deepor wetlands.
On allegation that “rich” people have not been touched in this drive, Angamuthu said, “We have identified 45 big constructions in these government lands. We have asked the authorities concerned to verify these and accordingly we will take action against them.” He said even government establishments would not be spared if laws have been violated.
Asked about collusion between agencies in giving permission to these structures, Angamuthu said, “During eviction, many people presented a holding certificate from the Guwahati Municipal Corporation. We are finding out the period when these were issued. We want to find out this nexus to fix it.” “After the eviction is completed, we will start dredging and then fencing of these water bodies. We will do everything to bring our effort to a logical conclusion,” Angamuthu said. The government would also take a “strong decision” regarding banning polythene in the city from next month, he added.
Meanwhile, police and encroachers clashed in some areas of Guwahati as the eviction drive being carried out by the metropolitan administration entered the eight day.
Settlers pelted stones at the police and clashed with them in a desperate bid to prevent the bulldozers from razing down their houses.
At Borbari area on Monday, additional police and paramilitary personnel were deployed after police lathicharged and used tear gas shells on the settlers who protested the eviction drive.
The settlers also displayed placards alleging discrimination in the eviction drive.
The massive eviction drive was launched after flash floods and landslides killed eleven people in the capital city last month. The government blamed encroachment and illegal hill cutting for the catastrophic flooding that paralyzed the city for two days. So far over 200 houses and dozens of structures have been demolished by teams of the administration.
The drive was launched on June 30 to clear areas from encroachment, especially those in and around the water bodies and wetlands, which have blocked the natural flow of water.
The state government has given a deadline of 15 days to the metropolitan administration to clear the encroached tracts. (Agencies)

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