Water logging prone Anil Nagar continues to struggle for drinking water
Dearth of potable water continues to remain a major problem in the flood affected Anil Nagar of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Ward 20.
This was revealed in a survey conducted by G Plus in which 100 families were asked questions on different living parameters such as drainage, water supply, streetlights etc to find out the performance of GMC.
On being asked if they receive clean water supply, 64 out of the total sample size responded that they do not receive any water at all.
Off the rest 36 respondents, 14 received drinking water, while 12 received water at home occasionally and the rest 10 declined to comment.
As reported by G Plus earlier, water logging and lack of drinking water supply, ironically, are the biggest problems for the residents of Anil Nagar area (Ward 20A) of the city.
The survey is being conducted keeping in view the ensuing ward elections, the dates of which have not been announced yet. All the respondents said that water logging is the primary problem for them.
Trademarked with the foul stench of Bharalu River, this area geographically happens to be the lowest point in the city and it acts as a basin to the rain water flowing down the hills into the Bharalu River that flows from Zoo Road to Bhangagarh and beyond and defines the eastern boundary of the ward. Hence, flash floods occur every time the city receives a smart downpour.
Such water logging has also resulted in deaths annually. In 2013, a youth was washed away by the river and this was followed by two more such deaths the next year.
Following this, the then chief minister, Tarun Gogoi, had formed a committee spearheaded by then Additional Chief Secretary, MGVK Bhanu to address the problem which bore no result yet.
While the geographical disadvantage coupled with unplanned growth of the city has attributed to this region becoming a victim of flash floods every year, scarcity of drinking water is a problem for which the locals blame the GMC entirely.
In the survey, when asked about drainage, 66 respondents said that there is no drainage in the locality while 26 respondents said it needs improvement and a mere 8 respondents were satisfied with the drainage conditions.
Another problem faced by the people of Anil Nagar in mosquito infestation. 54 respondents opined that there had been no pest control measures taken in their area. A mere 4 respondents said it’s being done regularly while 42 respondents said it’s being done occasionally.
Brighter side of Anil Nagar
While water logging during the monsoons remains a problem for the residents of Anil Nagar, the ward exceeds the expectation of the residents in terms of other facilities such as health care, electricity, garbage collection and road conditions, the survey revealed.
Due to its proximity to Gauhati Medical College & Hospital (GMCH) where there are two more private hospitals and a bunch of clinics within the radius of 1 km, the residents voted highest (92 respondents) for availability of health care facilities.
A majority of 72 respondents voted that garbage is being collected daily while 10 respondents said it is collected twice a week, 2 respondents voted it is collected once a week, 14 respondents voted for irregular collection and 2 respondents said that their garbage isn’t collected at all.
The ward also performed well regarding streetlights in a city where almost every by-lane and residential area complains of inadequate streetlights.
(File photo of flood in Anil Nagar)
Only 14 respondents complained that there is no streetlight whereas, 10 respondents said that their lanes are well lit. 32 respondents said it is vaguely lit and 44 respondents said that the roads are lit but need improvement.
Apparently, this area is one of those that are least prone to traffic congestions. 86 respondents were of the opinion that there is occasional crowding while 14 respondents opined that there is a smooth traffic movement in the area.
In terms of councillor’s performance too, the people offered a mixed reaction: 6 respondents termed it excellent and 44 respondents said satisfactory. 42 percent, on the other hand said the councillor has under-performed and 8 respondents said the performance was poor.
26 respondents said that the councillor never interacted with them; 12 respondents said they are in regular touch with the councillor and 62 respondents were approached occasionally.
Flood control in manifesto for the second time
Ward 20 councilor Anima Deka, who is contesting from the same ward for the second term, said that flood problem, which had been a poll plank for the last election, will remain “high on priority” in this election too.
“In my ward (20), we don’t just have flash floods but proper flooding problem during which, houses in Anil Nagar remain inundated for more than 2-3 days. Despite several promises by the ruling government and the council, no holistic approach has been taken yet. That is why, I am going to put this problem on the top of my priorities in the election,” Deka said.
She said that the flash floods cannot be thwarted by the efforts of just one ward; the entire city will have to chip in.
“Storm water from the entire city finds its way into this region through the Bharalu. So, check must be done throughout the city. The GMDA has been planning on this for quite some time, but with no result. Most of my focus will be to pressurise the council and the GMDA to execute it soon,” Deka added.
She said that she is aware of the drinking water problem, but that too will be solved once the water projects are completed. “Until then, we cannot do much,” Deka added.
She further said that she is aware of other problems such as drainage and a few areas where there streetlights are placed intermittently.
“I will make sure that every inch of the ward is well lit,” said Deka.