Guwahati, the capital of Assam, is facing the menace of floods since Monday (June 25). There have been reports of heavy water-logging in most parts of Guwahati, but in posh localities like Zoo Road, Nabin Nagar, Anil Nagar and Tarun Nagar in the heart of the city, people have been confined to their homes. In Nabin Nagar, at some places there’s chest-deep water. There’s been a total failure on the part of the civic agencies. The only means of communication by roads in these areas now are boats and some cycle-rickshaws that are able to wade through these waterlogged roads, but they charge arbitrarily– some of them charge about Rs. 100-200 for distance for which the usual fare is about Rs. 10. There is also the additional problem of drinking and potable water – though in some areas, the Municipal Corporation has provided water tankers, but even then, it is difficult to carry the water home through the waterlogged roads. It is also difficult to transport patients in medical emergencies and difficult to bring ration, food, medicines & supplies back home. Schools have remained closed in these areas.
The erection of a high wall along the Braralu river which prevents the natural flow of water into the river keeps the water stranded in these areas for days together as the stranded water can only be pumped into the river – there aren't sufficient high capacity pumps. This has been further aggravated by throwing of garbage including plastic by people in drains. Essential commodities like milk and gas have become more expensive. So have onions and potatoes.
Parswa D Nair is an advocate in the Guwahati high court