Following the devastating incident in Kharguli, where a water supply pipeline burst, resulting in the loss of a life, significant damage to houses, and the washing away of several vehicles, the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) organized a protest. The demonstration took place in Uzanbazar, Guwahati, outside the Swahid Nyas, where protesters burned an effigy representing state cabinet minister Ashok Singhal.
The protesters voiced their anger towards Housing & Urban Affairs and Irrigation Minister Ashok Singhal, blaming the Assam government for the unfortunate incident. They emphasized the need for the government to take responsibility for the damages caused by the pipeline rupture in Kharguli. In addition to demanding medical assistance for the injured, they called for compensation to be provided to the family of the deceased.
The AASU member highlighted that such pipeline bursts, although minor, occur in various locations throughout the city without detection. They criticized the lack of preventive measures and stressed the need for accountability and prevention in the future.
The incident occurred when a Gammon JICA water supply main line pipe burst in Kharguli, Guwahati, at around 3 p.m. The sudden rush of water resulted in the destruction of approximately 40 homes, the displacement of vehicles, and the impact on around 600 individuals. Tragically, a woman named Sumitra Rabha lost her life in one of the affected houses. The injured were swiftly taken to local hospitals for treatment. Police authorities are currently investigating the cause of the rupture and have cordoned off the area.
While efforts are being made to restore water supply by the Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA), those affected by the incident expressed their dissatisfaction and demanded reimbursement for the damages to their properties.
This event once again highlights the issue of inadequate infrastructure in Guwahati. The city has been grappling with numerous problems stemming from the poor condition of roads, bridges, and other infrastructure. To prevent similar incidents in the future, the government must take immediate action to improve the city’s infrastructure.
Cabinet minister Ashok Singhal called for a thorough investigation into the incident. After visiting the site, Singhal assured the media that a comprehensive investigation would take place. He emphasized the need for a safety audit of the installed pipes and stated that the Kamrup Metro Deputy Commissioner had been instructed to assess the situation. Singhal also expressed his intention to return to the area after receiving the detailed report to engage with the affected residents and address their concerns.