Clear all water bodies by May: CM tells GMC officials

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Sonowal reviews flood prevention measures of GDD

HT Bureau

GUWAHATI, March 18: Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal has directed the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) officials to complete the de-silting of drains and water bodies by the first week of May so that free flow of rainwater can be ensured before the onset of monsoons.

Reviewing the measures taken by Guwahati development department (GDD) to prevent flash floods in the city in a meeting at Janata Bhawan here Wednesday, Sonowal urged the officials to explore ways to revive Bharalu River and look at ways to developing water bodies to retain excess water coming from the hills of Meghalaya during the rainy season.

Issuing direction to the officials of the department to conduct awareness meetings in the flood prone areas in the city, the chief minister stressed on the need to make the people stakeholders in the fight against flash floods so that they do not throw garbage and plastics in the drains. He also directed the officials to make the people accountable for such deeds which would clog the drains and cause floods.

He also urged for involving the media in the awareness campaigns so that the government’s activities to prevent flood get highlighted. For properly sensitising the people, Sonowal suggested involving NGOs or private players who could be entrusted with the responsibility to make people aware about garbage management and keeping the drains clear in the city.

Properly covering of all naked electrical cables, managing street lights etc by APDCL, preparedness of NDRF and SDRF during flood situations, de-weeding of Sil Saku Beel, Mission Flood Free Guwahati, clearing of drains under train lines etc also came up for discussion during the meeting.

GDD minister Siddhartha Bhattacharya, forest and environment minister Parimal Suklabaidya, minister of state for revenue and disaster management (Independent) Jogen Mohan, principal secretary to the chief minister Sanjay Lohia were present in the meeting among others.

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