Silchar, June 26: Plagued by recurring waterlogging along Sonai Road, a commercial hub, both the Silchar Municipal Board and the urban development department have decided to draw a fresh detailed project report (DPR) to lay stormwater drains there.
Sources here said the project would be an important segment of the Rs 173-crore stormwater drainage scheme of the Centre for tackling waterlogging in the monsoon.
The scheme, formulated in early 2004, by the National Building Construction Company (NBCC), a central government undertaking, however, is now in a cold storage. Even the first phase of laying the drains at a cost of Rs 17 crore was left unfinished after a local firm suddenly left the project with only 1,400 metres (1.4km) of drains laid.
The authorities woke up to the urgency of laying the entire 14km of stormwater drains when the southern part of the town was inundated after three spells of heavy pre-monsoon showers. The waterlogging aggravated when the monsoon struck in full force.
The water, accumulated on Sonai Road and several other lanes during the past two days’ heavy rain, is yet to recede.
At least five schools and a degree college have been closed today for two days because of waterlogging. The sources said as the preparation of the new DPR and the execution of the stormwater drainage scheme would take considerable time, the municipal board and the urban development board had decided to implement an emergency plan to tackle the waterlogging.
According to the authorities, a few culverts would be constructed as part of a short-term measure. The Longaikhal stream and Mahisha Beel near this town, which act as south Silchar’s natural drainage, will also be cleaned so that rainwater can flow into the waterbodies unhindered.
Silchar Municipal Board chairperson Sushmita Dev, who is also the Congress MLA from Silchar, held a meeting yesterday afternoon with the assistant director of the government’s town and country planning office, B.K. Sarma, to discuss the long and short-term measures. The residents are also getting restive with the recurring waterlogging. A local NGO, Jana Jagaran Manch, yesterday blockaded National Highway 54 at Sonai Road for three hours, which threw traffic out of gear.