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Dispur plans to dredge Bharalu

Feb. 20: Dispur is planning to dredge the Bharalu to ease the city’s waterlogging woes.

Guwahati development department minister Ajanta Neog told reporters today that waterlogging had been identified as the number one problem plaguing the city.

She said the government had prepared a proposal for dredging the Bharalu which serves as the natural drainage system.

Describing Bharalu as the city’s lifeline, Neog said the government had proposed to dredge the river to increase its water-carrying capacity and erect fences on both sides of the river to prevent people from throwing garbage into the water.

Indiscriminate dumping of garbage has also choked Bharalu as a result of which during heavy rainfall excess riverwater spills over and floods the neighbourhood.

As most of the drains in the city have their outlets in Bharalu, when the river overtops there is backflow of water in these drains resulting in flooding of other areas in the city.

“We hope that dredging and fencing of the Bharalu will reduce waterlogging in the city to a great extent,” Neog said.

The minister said encroachment is another reason for reduction in the water-carrying capacity of the Bharalu.

“I have discussed the matter with the Kamrup (metro) deputy commissioner and asked him to take necessary steps to remove these encroachments,” she said.

The Bharalu, which originates from the hills in Meghalaya, passes through the city before merging with the Brahmaputra at Bharalumukh.

Neog said the government would take up dredging and fencing of the Bharalu as a priority project.

“The proposal has been sent to the finance department for its approval and we will start work as soon as we receive the clearance from the finance department,” she said.

Neog said waterlogging has now become a chronic problem of the city and it will not be possible for the government to solve it without people’s cooperation.

“We need people’s cooperation to solve the city’s waterlogging problem. We can take up a project, but if someone moves the court against the project then it gets entangled in legal battle and its implementation gets delayed,” she said.