In the wake of recurrent artificial floods plaguing Guwahati city, serious allegations of mismanagement and financial discrepancies have surfaced, leaving residents in a state of distress.
Dilip Sharma, the Media Chairman of the Assam Trinamool Congress, has drawn attention to the dire situation.
“Mismanagement by the state government has led to Guwahati residents enduring a nightmarish ordeal due to the relentless artificial floods. The root cause of this predicament lies in the failure to promptly clean the city's drainage system, leaving its inhabitants grappling with the aftermath of flooding,” said Dilip Sharma in a press statement.
Dilip Sharma's explosive allegations highlight how artificial flood management has turned into a lucrative venture for a select few, while the people of Guwahati bear the brunt of this crisis.
In the release, Dilip Sharma, Chairman of the Media Department of the Assam Trinamool Congress, expressed his frustration, stating, "For years, the people of Guwahati have been subjected to hellish conditions caused by artificial floods. Despite annual government promises to resolve the issue, these commitments have proven to be mere illusions. Despite the allocation of billions of rupees for artificial flood mitigation, the problem persists."
Furthermore, Dilip Sharma underscored the lack of timely action by the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) and Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA).
According to a damning report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), authorities failed to utilize Rs 209 crore last year. Specifically, the GMC and GMDA neglected Rs 15 crore allocated for drainage cleaning, Rs 12 crore for solid waste management, and Rs 16 crore for artificial flood control.
An alarming revelation emerged in October 2021 when Guwahati Smart City Limited purchased 10 super-suckers at a staggering cost of Rs 26 crore, with the intention of deploying them to clean the city's drains. However, due to inadequate management, these valuable assets have been abandoned, leaving large areas of the city, including Anil and Nabin Nagar, Zoo-Road, Hatigaon, Gandhinagar, etc in a state of panic, stated Sharma in the press statement.
"Guwahati Development Minister Ashok Singhal has come under scrutiny as the primary individual responsible for this dire situation. Notably, he claimed just a few days ago, that the city's residents are celebrating their freedom from artificial floods. The question now stands - where have those claims gone?" questioned Sharma.
It is essential to highlight that the Chairman of the Media Department, Assam TMC is demanding a thorough investigation into the proper utilization of funds allocated for artificial flood control. This includes the implementation of efficient measures by GMC authorities, rather than relying solely on empty promises and rhetoric.
Meanwhile, taking to X platform, Guwahati Development Minister Ashok Singhal informed that in the last 48 hours, Guwahati has received 167.80mm of rainfall. In comparison, the city had 171.00mm rainfall in the entire month of September.
“The receding of water was also delayed due to several trees falling in the Bharalu River, which have decreased the outflow of rainwater into the river. All department officials are working tirelessly to fight the situation & ensure relief to the citizens of Guwahati. We seek the cooperation of all citizens in our efforts,” Minister Singhal added in his tweet.