Noted academician and scientist Dr. Amarjyoti Chaudhury wrote an Assamese novel “Gosor Nisina Sakokhan”. The title of the novel is inspired by Khasi folktale “ Jingkieng Ksiar”. According to the Khasi legend there used to be a ladder connecting the earth and the heaven and men on earth could move up the ladder and reach heaven. Till such time human race remained righteous the ladder existed.
Dr. Chaudhury is of the view that the ladder symbolizes a tree and folktale is about ecology and about a just society’s commitment to the environment.
The novel “Gosor Nisina Sakokhan” talks about how Guwahati a hub of natural beauty with its green hills, rivulets and water bodies is changed into a city of congested roads, damaged ecosystems and most importantly the old rivers getting blocked or carrying the city sewage. The central character of the novel Stuti is an idealist lady but her bureaucrat husband is convicted on charges of granting illegal permission to contractors violating environmental norms.
In reality I am not aware if there are laws to safeguard the ecological balance of Guwahati city.
For at least three decades the city has witnessed flash floods. The intensity of floods has started taking human lives now.
Like elsewhere in the state preparedness to face the challenge seems to be inadequate in Guwahati too. The problem is probably not due to lack of ideas, technology or money. I was going through a scholarly article on tackling the flash flood problem in Guwahati. I would like to reproduce some words, phrases and institutions that appeared in the article:
Building Bye Laws
Maps by Assam Remote Sensing Application Centre
Creation of Silt Traps
Sedimentation Control Standard
Chemical Soil Stabilization
Vegetative Buffer Strip
Master Drainage Plan
City Master Plan
Storm Water Study
Guwahati Smart City Development Agency Ltd
Restoration of Beels
Centralized Command and Control Structure
It appears that there are serious thoughts about the issue but not much is done on ground. Can we hope that such ideas and action plans will be implemented soon and in 2018 monsoon Guwahati will not face the flash flood havoc?