Guwahati’s Ongoing Battle with Waterlogging

A Deep Dive into the City’s Drainage Woes

Guwahati, the bustling city on the banks of the Brahmaputra River, is no stranger to the annual monsoon deluge. However, what sets apart the monsoon season in Guwahati is not just the heavy rainfall but also the recurring issue of waterlogging that plagues its streets and neighborhoods. The city’s drainage infrastructure, or the lack thereof, often fails to cope with the excessive rainwater, leading to significant inconveniences for its residents.

One of the most challenging aspects of the city’s drainage system is its vulnerability to heavy rainfall. For instance, during the recent monsoon season, it was reported that water took an astonishing 37 minutes to recede from the Purani Flyover area to Maligaon, a distance that would typically take a fraction of that time under normal conditions. This delay not only caused traffic congestion but also highlighted the inadequacy of the drainage system to handle such volumes of water.

The situation in Maligaon, a locality known for its chronic waterlogging issues, was particularly dire. Despite efforts to improve the drainage infrastructure, including the installation of new systems, the area continued to suffer from inundation. This prompted authorities to station traffic personnel to manage the flow of vehicles, indicating the severity of the situation.

The problem of waterlogging is not limited to Maligaon alone. Several other neighborhoods, including Lachit Nagar, Navin Nagar, Anil Nagar, Zoo Road, Ganeshguri, Lokhimi Nagar, and Rukmini Nagar, have also experienced similar difficulties. What is concerning is that these areas have been facing these challenges for years, with little to no respite in sight.

The impact of waterlogging extends beyond just traffic congestion. It affects the daily lives of residents, making it difficult for them to commute, carry out daily errands, and even send their children to school. The image of parents wading through knee-deep water, carrying their children on their shoulders to school, is not an uncommon sight during the monsoon season in Guwahati.

Despite assurances from elected representatives and government officials, the issue of waterlogging in Guwahati remains unresolved. While short-term measures, such as stationing traffic personnel during heavy rainfall, may provide temporary relief, they do not address the root cause of the problem. What is needed is a comprehensive overhaul of the city’s drainage infrastructure to ensure that it can effectively manage the influx of rainwater during the monsoon.

In conclusion, the issue of waterlogging in Guwahati is a complex and multifaceted problem that requires urgent attention. It is not just about managing traffic congestion but also about ensuring the safety and well-being of the city’s residents. Only through concerted efforts to improve the drainage infrastructure can Guwahati hope to mitigate the impact of waterlogging and ensure a smoother monsoon season for its residents.

Waterlogging is not just an inconvenience; it also poses serious health risks. Stagnant water can become a breeding ground for mosquitoes, leading to the spread of diseases such as dengue and malaria. Additionally, the waterlogging can damage roads and buildings, leading to costly repairs.

One of the reasons behind Guwahati’s waterlogging problem is its outdated drainage system. The city’s drainage network was designed decades ago and is not equipped to handle the increased rainfall that has been observed in recent years due to climate change. As a result, the drainage system often gets overwhelmed during heavy rains, leading to waterlogging in many parts of the city.

Another factor contributing to Guwahati’s waterlogging problem is rapid urbanization. The city has seen a significant increase in population in recent years, leading to the construction of new buildings and roads. However, the city’s infrastructure has not kept pace with this growth, leading to inadequate drainage systems in many areas.

To address the issue of waterlogging, Guwahati needs to invest in modernizing its drainage infrastructure. This could involve upgrading existing drainage systems, building new drainage channels, and improving the capacity of existing drains. Additionally, the city could explore nature-based solutions such as green roofs and permeable pavement to help absorb excess rainwater.

Apart from infrastructure improvements, there is also a need for better urban planning in Guwahati. The city should take measures to reduce the amount of impermeable surfaces such as concrete and asphalt, which prevent rainwater from being absorbed into the ground. Instead, the city should promote the use of permeable materials in construction and encourage the creation of green spaces that can absorb rainwater.

Public awareness and participation are also crucial in addressing the issue of waterlogging. Residents should be educated about the importance of proper waste disposal and the impact of waterlogging on the environment. Additionally, residents can take simple steps such as clearing drains and gutters around their homes to help reduce the risk of waterlogging.

In conclusion, Guwahati’s waterlogging problem is a complex issue that requires a multi-faceted approach to solve. By investing in modernizing its drainage infrastructure, promoting sustainable urban planning, and raising public awareness, Guwahati can mitigate the impact of waterlogging and create a more resilient city for the future.