Water logging and lack of proper drainage system remain the most crucial problem for the residents of Chandmari in Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Ward No 21. The same has acquired perennial characteristics over the last several years.
In a survey conducted by G Plus, 50 families of the ward were asked questions on 14 parameters of living standards such as regular supply of potable water, routine pest control measures, public toilets, parking spaces etc. All the respondents unanimously said that they suffer due to water logging after a smart shower of rain and this is accentuated by lack of a good drainage system.
It may be mentioned here that the stretch from Silpukhuri to Bamunimaidam, that is Chandmari, consists of the highlands of the Sarania Hills and Ramsa Hills with the Maniram Dewan Road bisecting the two. This makes this area a virtual basin bowl and so, more prone to flash floods with storm water gushing down from the hills.
“People of Gandhi Basti or those who stay in Nabagraha Road or Kanwachal Road do not face much of the flash flood problems. But those who live near the main road (Maniram Dewan Road), have to face the brunt of the flash floods,” Pradeep Baishya, a resident here said.
The first flash flood of this year began with the heavy pre-monsoon downpour on May 21 that inundated the stretch of Maniram Dewan Road from Chandmari point to Bamunimaidan and this was followed by a series of such flash floods that lasted for short periods every time there was a heavy downpour.
The residents feel that besides the geographical disadvantages, an aspect of the flash flood menace, regarding which both the government and the residents cannot do much, is lack of a proper drainage system which actually adds to the woes.
“This region lacks a proper drainage system. On the GS Road or the Zoo Road, they have the Bharalu River that takes out the bulk of the storm water. Water logging is a problem there because it is in the low lying areas. But here, despite having a fair bit of high grounds, we lack a major storm water drainage channel,” Reena Hazarika, a resident said.
Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA), however, attributes the flash flood to the highlands.
“There is not much scope to carve out a major water channel there due to over concentration of population and the hilly terrains. Some work was done at the Gandhi Basti area, but the Ramsa Hills could not be touched,” Dhiren Baruah, ex-chairman GMDA had said in an earlier conversation.
Besides this, the residents are also irked by the lack of parking space in the area – a problem they attribute to the unplanned settlement in the area.
“A lot of houses have sprouted here over the years. This area being one of the convenient residential areas of the city in terms of location attracts a lot of settlers and has many residential complexes. Most of the people have their own vehicles. Due to lack of parking spaces, many park their vehicles on the road itself,” Nitul Das, a resident, said.
Moderate performance of GMC leaves Chandmari residents hopeful
Despite being drubbed for not fulfilling at least five living parameters, GMC apparently has met the expectations of the residents of Chandmari at least half way.
In the survey, the residents gave a moderate feedback in at least four parameters – supply of water, garbage collection, streetlights and security.
While supply of water remains a perennial problem in the rest of the city, 27 respondents (54 per cent) said they receive potable water “irregularly” to their residences. 9 others (18 per cent) said that they receive it regularly.
The same goes with garbage collection where the NGOs do not collect garbage daily. But according to a majority of 28 respondents (56 per cent), garbage is collected at least twice a week. Of the rest, 14 respondents (28 per cent) said it’s being collected irregularly and eight respondents (16 per cent) said that the garbage is collected at least once a week.
Regarding streetlights, 24 respondents (48 per cent) said that the roads are insufficiently lit while 14 said they are vaguely lit. 12 respondents (24 per cent) said the roads are well lit while none said that there are no streetlights.
The respondents are divided in opinion regarding security as 50 per cent termed the locality to be secure while the rest 50 per cent are of the opinion that it needed more security.
“This ward surely has some problems, but it is somewhat better than many other wards of the city. With better initiatives from the GMC and district administration, this area can thrive to be the centre of activities in the city,” Jyotishmita Baruah, a resident, said.
In the survey, all the respondents unanimously said that the area meets the standards regarding the roads, transport and medical facilities.
For an area, to get 100 per cent affirmation regarding its roads is commendable. “But then again, this region has the headquarters of the Public Works Department. If the roads would have been bad here, then people could not expect any better from the department in other parts of the city,” another resident, Priyam Sarkar, said.