GUWAHATI, Aug 12 - The parking spaces opened by the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) under the flyovers located in the Sixmile, Ganeshguri, Ulubari and Bhangagarh areas could become vulnerable to militant and other antisocial activities ahead of the Independence Day.
Although the police in the last few days has been claiming foolproof security across the city, lack of security in the recently opened parking spaces under the flyovers could give such elements a chance to carry out their nefarious activities.
On October 30, 2008, at least 12 persons were killed and over 100 injured in the twin blasts in front of a vegetable market at Ganeshguri and under the flyover there. One of the bombs was suspected to have been planted in a van. After the incident, the local administration had closed the parking space, which was reopened recently.
According to a statement from the GMC, parking spaces under the flyovers at Bhangagarh, Sixmile, Ulubari and Ganeshguri have been leased out for the year 2018-19 and opened for the convenience of the citizens. The statement further stated that the area under the Ganeshguri flyover where the explosion had taken place is a protected area and not considered in the tender process.
The parking space under the Sixmile flyover has 14,700 sq ft area and has the capacity to accommodate about 150 four-wheelers or 450 two-wheelers at a time. At Bhangagarh, the parking space below the flyover has 10,290 sq ft area and has the capacity to accommodate about 105 four-wheelers or 315 two-wheelers. At Ganeshguri, the parking space below the flyover has 9,408 sq ft area and has the capacity to accommodate 96 four-wheelers or 288 two-wheelers. Under the Ulubari flyover, the parking space has 7,644 sq ft area and has the capacity to accommodate about 78 four-wheelers or 234 two-wheelers at a time.
“In 2008, the scenario below the Ganeshguri flyover was much like today. People came to Ganeshguri for marketing and parked their vehicles below the flyover, and the miscreants took advantage of the lack of security,” Suresh Sarma, said a vendor at the Ganeshguri area, adding, “the parking space below the flyover was reopened recently. But we have not seen any security arrangements there.”
A person deployed in the parking space below the Ganeshguri flyover for collecting fees from vehicle owners informed that the CCTV camera installed there has not been working for the past three weeks.
Guwahati Police Commissioner Hiren Chandra Nath said, “Police are keeping constant vigil in and around the city. In case of security at parking places, the GMC keeps all the details of the parked vehicles. Our personnel have also been deployed near such areas.”