Guwahati witnessed the sixth edition of “Ward Talks” on 28th May amidst the active participation of residents of Ward number 7. The event took place at Ambikagiri Girls H.S. School in the presence of close to 100 local of areas such as Maligaon, Ambikagiri, Krishna Nagar, Gotanagar, Gorchuk, Boragaon among several other. The discussion was chaired by Naba Kumar Choudhury, IC, Gaushala Outpost, Bhupen Thakuria Councillor, Ward number 21 and Nekibur Rahman, Assistant Engineer, Public Works Department. Representatives of several development committees were also present during the event.
During the discussion residents of the area threw light on the lack of technical planning, demarcation in the construction of the road due to a major part of the ward being covered with hilly terrain. The problems of lack of proper roads, drinking water, garbage collection, lack of street lights and several other civic issues also emerged during the discussion. Several concerned residents who had taken part in the discussion opined that Ward Number 7 is the most underdeveloped ward in the city. Jadav Mahanta, one of the participant of the discussion forum mentioned that roads such as the one connecting Maligaon to Boragaon that is facing the problem of encroachment by a resident and urged the officials to take necessary steps. Residents of the ward also mentioned about the haphazard condition of the electricity posts in the ward, specially those in the hilly terrains. It was mentioned that there has been no initiative from Assam State Electricity Board for the maintenance of the electricity cables.
“Firstly ASEB had provided electricity to those who have illegally settled in the hillocks of the area and secondly the posts have been installed in an unplanned manner as cables can be seen hanging at various spots. Such irregularities pose a threat to the safety of the people. Moreover there is no response from the department officials even after repeatedly calling then. Those who work inside the confined boundaries do not have any idea about the sufferings of the people and the kind of affairs that go on among those working on the streets. Had they been present in the meeting, we could have narrated our hardship to them,” mentioned a senior citizen attending the discussion.
Addressing the discussion the councilor of the ward mentioned that the ward covers a vast area and consist 36,620 voters. He also mentioned that the ward has under developmental work of Rs 1cr in the past four years adding that a lot is yet to be done. He also mentioned that there are discussions going about dismissing the ration card and electricity connection of those residing the hills however the same has not been disclosed to the public as of yet.
“Being a councilor who himself reside on a hillock I am opposing the move as it poses threat to several indigenous residents of the city,” said Bhupen Thakuria, councilor, Ward number 7 adding that the problem of street light will soon be solved as discussions of reviving the Project Jyoti. The step will be initiated with a budget for 25cr. The councilor assured that with the support of the residents several other initiatives of construction of the roads in the near future but the people have to patient.
“Kanaklata Path took a struggle for 22 years and I have been able get the tendering process done. The road is likely to be completed in the next three to four months. Similarly there are several other roads that will be constructed in the near future. However, fund constrain is a major challenge for us and we have to take our decisions after a lot of analysis as in which area has to be prioritised,” the councilor added.
It also emerged during the discussion that the areas near the Maligaon Railway Station and Maligaon Hospital have become a hub of illegal activities such as consumption of drug and alcohol by some of the miscreants. Chandra Das, a resident of Krishna Nagar mentioned that there are several miscreants who openly sell and consume alcohol near the Maligaon Railway Station and urged the intervention of the police.
On the same Naba Kumar Choudhury, IC, Gaushala Outpost mentioned that the police have chased them away on several occasions but the lack man power remains a hurdle. The General Manager of the NFR has been informed about the same but there is no support from RPF or any any other department. He also added that many among the miscreants are woman and urged the Mahila Samittee to provide their support.
The discussion concluded with hopes for a much developed Ward number 7 in the near future.
Source: Rangman Das