Agartala, Nov 15, 2023, By Our Correspondent
The capital's rapidly changing landscapes, marked by the disappearance of ponds and water bodies due to intense population growth and soaring land costs, pose a significant challenge to flood and waterlogging control. District Magistrate of West Tripura, Dr. Vishal Kumar, expressed concern over this transformation, highlighting its impact on the city's vulnerability to waterlogging during heavy downpours.
Dr. Kumar addressed a press conference, revealing the administration's collaboration with the Agartala Municipal Corporation (AMC) and Tripura Urban Development Authority (TUDA) to establish specific guidelines. The goal is to address the indiscriminate filling of ponds and water bodies by private owners.
He remarked, "Once, almost every house here had a pond either in the front or in the back. But now you will hardly find any. The capital has taken the shape of a bowl, and due to vanishing ponds and water bodies, even places which used to remain dry despite heavy showers are now vulnerable for waterlogging."
The District Magistrate emphasized the importance of citizen awareness and urged them to seek government assistance when needed. A helpline (0381 232 1077) is in operation for disaster-related concerns.
While acknowledging that the current year has seen less impact from floods or cyclonic storms compared to previous years, Dr. Kumar assured the public of the district's readiness for any eventualities. He highlighted ongoing training for disaster management personnel with modern equipment.
Relief materials amounting to Rs. 26.61 crore were distributed over the past six years, including Rs. 7.72 crore during the Covid-19 period. Approximately 15,000 people affected by various disasters since 2018-19 received assistance, with around 9,000 people receiving aid for house damage. Dr. Kumar affirmed the district's preparedness to handle disasters and emphasized the community's role, with local citizens' help being requisitioned when necessary.