The Telegraph
Wednesday , May 23 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Mixed feelings on desilting

May 22: Before the onset of monsoon residents across the city have only one thing in mind — “Will flash floods occur again?”

After desiltation of drains that is being carried out in different locations by the GMC, it remains to be seen whether these activities will actually be completed on time and prevent flash floods.

While people have expressed satisfaction that desiltation activities have gained momentum, many still harbour mixed feelings about the effectiveness of these activities in preventing floods. Several localities like Anil Nagar, Lachit Nagar, Zoo Road Tinali, some parts of Ganeshguri, Hangerabari and Bhangagarh are the worst-hit areas during flash floods.

In these areas, people are practically marooned as they are cut off from the rest of the areas because of knee-deep water.

“For years we have been reeling under acute flash floods. Though desiltation is being carried out every year, it has not helped much so far. Last year, floodwater stayed for nearly three days in our bylane. Let us see how it turns out this year. It is important that workers clean the drains properly and not in a half-hearted manner by dumping the dug-up trash by roadsides,” Anil Mukherjee, a resident of Bhangagarh, said.

“Our worries mount when monsoon arrives as a heavy shower is sufficient to inundate our locality. GMC workers are cleaning the drains here, which is good. If they complete the work before the monsoon, rainwater will flow out of the city freely. The civic authorities had set up a water pump in our locality about two years back to pump out excess water into the Bharalu,” said J. Ahmed, a resident of Lachit Nagar.

This year, the GMC has taken up several schemes for desiltation of all big as well as small drains in the city. A fund worth nearly Rs 2.9 crore has been sanctioned for this purpose. To carry out these activities the corporation has engaged 51 contractors. The corporation had recently fined one of its contractors and issued a warning for its failure to properly dispose of the silt and muck dug out of the drains.

The water resources department, too, has taken up several schemes for cleaning the Bharalu, Mora Bharalu, Bahini river and Sorusala Beel in the city. While cleaning of the Bharalu, Mora Bharalu and Sorusala Beel will be done at an estimated cost of Rs 158 lakh, an amount of Rs 141.84 lakh has been sanctioned for cleaning the Bahini.

The GMC has claimed that it will successfully complete desiltation of all drains on time.

“We divided the desiltation process between two teams. While the first team comprising 15 contractors has completed almost 80 per cent of desiltation, the second team comprising 31 contractors has finished about 50 per cent of its work. But we have allotted work to another five contractors last Friday and they have begun work from today. We have adequate manpower and machinery to complete the work before the arrival of the monsoon,” said a senior GMC official.

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