CITY CORRESPONDENT GUWAHATI, Oct 11 - Guwahati is now gearing up for the Durga Puja festivities. Pandals and accompanying arches and gates are accordingly coming up in every nook and corner of the city.
An idol of Goddess Durga awaiting finishing touches, as seen in Guwahati on Thursday. – UB Photos
But the people at the helm of affairs in the administration seem to be confused as to what to do with the illuminated and decorated arches and gates on the roadsides that form approaches to the main puja venues. Such structures, especially in busy commercial areas are sure to prove problematic for pedestrians and cause traffic congestions.
“There are rules and regulations in the administration for erecting such decorated gates and arches, but their improper implementation causes heavy traffic jams during Durga Puja every year. Under such a circumstance just imagine how grave the situation will be if any disaster like fire occurs at any crowded puja venue,” Dipak Kalita, a resident of Kumarpara said.
Some areas of the city like Kumarpara, Bharalu, Paltan Bazar, Chandmari and Rehabari are known for remaining crowded with people and vehicles throughout the year. During Durga Puja the situation in these areas worsens considerably as puja venues crop up close to one another.
Meanwhile, construction/renovation/repair of roads and drains are currently going on throughout the city. Fearing a chaotic situation this time, some puja committees during a meeting with the district administration had called for completion of the road/drain works before Durga Puja.
According to officials at the Guwahati Municipal Corporation, during construction of a temporary puja gate on the roadside, the puja committee has to see to it that there is sufficient space for vehicles, especially fire tenders and ambulances to ply on.
“Generally digging of the road to raise a gate is not allowed. If any puja committee digs the road, then it should repair it after the puja is over. Again, every puja committee should keep proper space so that fire tenders and ambulances can easily ply on the road,” a top GMC official said.
Meanwhile, the administration is set to impose restrictions for vehicular traffic in various bylanes of the city where Durga Puja will be celebrated. Higher officials of City Traffic Police said the list of roads where plying of all kinds of vehicles will be restricted during the puja days, would be published soon.
“Keeping the road free is a major concern during Puja. So at Latasil, we will not set up any gate this time, as the road is in under construction,” a member of the Latasil Puja Committee said.