The city witnessed the seventh edition of “Ward Talks” with the active participation of residents of Ward no. 17 on the 8th of July. The event took place at Binova Nagar L.P. School, Colony Bazaar, Kalapahar in the presence of around 200 locals of areas such Lutuma, Narakasur Hill, 4th APBN, Kalapahar among several other areas within the ward. The discussion was chaired by Siddhartha Bhattacharya, MLA, Gauhati East constituency, Mayor of Guwahati Municipal Corporation Mrigen Sarania, Councillor GMC Madhuchanda Deb, Sailendra Pandey, PRO Excise department, Dibakar Mali, Assistant Engineer GMC Division 6, Sunit Das, SDO PWD, Abhijit Choudhury, SDO PWD, Kulendra Nath Deka, ACP, Traffic, Easter Soren, Sub-Inspector of Fatasil Ambari ploice station and Kirti Talukdar, Assisatant Engineer of GMDA.
Residents of the area raised questions on several issues to the panelists regarding water crisis, dilapidated road conditions, non-availability of street lights, garbage collection, anti-social activities and other problem related to the area. As most of the area under Ward No 17 falls in hilly area, people have to suffer great water crisis. Speaking about the problem, MLA Bhattacharjee said that the GMDA water supply project will be commissioned soon. The MLA also alleged that the GMDA has excavated the roads for installing the water pipes but once they excavate they do not reconstruct the roads.
Lashing out at the IVRCL, the organisation responsible for carrying out the water supply project which is funded by JICA, the MLA said that Guwahati is being destroyed under the tag of development. “There are several roads in the city that have been ploughed through just after a few days of the construction of the road. The IVRCL has been repeatedly urged to co-ordinate with the other departments before carrying out their work. It has happened on several occasions when the officials have demolished one side of a newly constructed road and I had to rush to the spot. Moreover the roads should be restored to its previous condition but it is evidently not being done,” Bhattacharya said.
Adding to it, Mayor Mrigen Sarania said that 60 roads should have been constructed and it is the responsibility of the PWD department for the construction of the road after JICA transferred the fund.
Another problem of the area is that the roads of the lanes and bylanes are in a very dilapidated condition and the drains do not have the capacity to carry excess drain water due to which it gets blocked and the footpaths are being encroached by the street vendors.
MLA bhattacharjee also announced that construction of four roads soon as funds have already been sanctioned. The roads are Kali No Path, Bhairabtala, Namghar Path and Colony Bazaar Upper lane.
Garbage collection also surfaced as a problem in the area where lack of man power in GMC came to light. “Earlier the house to house garbage collection was done on daily basis but as the NGO faced some problems in terms of infrastructure and finance, they do not collect garbage in time,” said Assistant Engineer of GMC, Division 6, Dibakar Mali. “We have now started a new project and divided 31 wards into 52 parts so that in the bigger wards, 2-3 NGOs can be engaged so that none of the houses are left for garbage collection,” the Mayor added.
Locals also mentioned about youths engaged in drinking in public areas and creating chaos in the area, along with cases of drug abuse. It has also been alleged by the locals that the sale of illegal liquor is high in some areas and though police are aware of the facts, no action is seen against it. Commenting on the issue, PRO of Excise department Sailendra Pandey said that the excise department will come up with an Act which will be non-bailable.
In its continued initiative to provide a platform for the citizens of Guwahati to express their problems and a medium to connect them with the administration, G Plus, in order to initiate tangible improvements in the city starting with the micro-level of the wards – the media house had been mulling with a concept whereby the people of a particular ward and the representatives of the Ward Unnayan Samitee could be brought together to a common platform along with the authorities from various government departments like GMC, GMDA, Police, etc. for interaction. G Plus thus floated the concept of ‘Ward Talks’ and carried out the seventh phase of the initiative on 8th July.
Source – Rangman Das