GUWAHATI, July 11 - The seventh edition of ‘Ward Talks’, organised by a city-based weekly, was held on Saturday at the Binova Nagar LP School, Colony Bazaar, Kalapahar. Over 200 residents from localities like Lutuma, Narakasur Hill and Kalapahar attended the event, which was chaired by Guwahati East Constituency MLA Siddhartha Bhattacharya.
Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) mayor Mrigen Sarania, GMC councillor Madhuchanda Deb and senior officials from GMC, PWD, Traffic Police and GMDA attended the meeting.
During the event, local residents raised questions on several issues like water crisis, dilapidated condition of roads, non-availability of street lights, poor garbage collection, rise in antisocial activities and other problems in the area.
As most of the areas under Ward No. 17 of GMC are hilly, people in those areas have to suffer a lot due to scarcity of water, locals said.
Speaking on the problem, MLA Bhattacharya said the GMDA water supply project would be commissioned soon in the area. The MLA alleged that GMDA has excavated many roads for installing water pipes, but no steps were taken to reconstruct the roads once pipes were laid.
Lashing out at IVRCL, the organisation responsible for implementing the water supply project funded by JICA, Bhattacharya said Guwahati is being destroyed in the name of development.
“There are several roads in the city that have been ploughed through just after a few days of their construction. IVRCL has been repeatedly urged to coordinate with other departments before carrying out its work. It has happened on several occasions when one side of a newly constructed road was demolished and I had to rush to the spot. Moreover, the roads should be restored to their previous condition, but it is evidently not being done,” Bhattacharya added.
He also announced that construction of four new roads in Ward No. 17 would begin soon and funds have already been sanctioned. The roads are Kali Path, Bhairabtala, Namghar Path and Colony Bazaar Upper Lane.
Sarania said it is the responsibility of the PWD Department to construct the roads after the fund is transferred by JICA.
Garbage collection in the area has also been affected due to reported manpower shortage in GMC. “Earlier, house-to-house garbage collection was done on a daily basis, but nowadays garbage is not being collected on time as the NGO engaged in the job is facing some problems in terms of infrastructure and money,” said Dibakar Mali, assistant engineer of GMC, Division 6.