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Promise of Good Governance and its Fallacy

Posted On :: Monday 11th September 2017
As a law-abiding, tax-paying citizen, it is extremely painful to see the inaction of successive governments in the state leaving the common man in the lurch after making a plethora of promises to seek mandate
As a law-abiding, tax-paying citizen, it is extremely painful to see the inaction of successive governments in the state leaving the common man in the lurch after making a plethora of promises to seek mandate
By: Subhasish Das

The BJP burst onto the political landscape of the state in 2016 riding high on the anti-incumbency wave against the Congress and promising ​ different, effective and efficient governance to the people in the state. It is well over a year now - 15 months in power to be precise - but many things in Guwahati city have not witnessed the slightest improvement. My focus is only on Guwahati, nothing broader. As a law-abiding, tax-paying citizen, it is extremely painful to see the inaction of successive governments in the state leaving the common man in the lurch after making a plethora of promises to seek mandate.​

​Below are some of the disturbing points; things to ponder over for the people in power:

1. Deplorable road conditions are impacting the lives of the dwellers. Inaction from the authorities is only worsening the situation, compounding people's woes. Today, our roads are extremely unsafe for driving given the high vehicular density of the city. Repair and maintenance cost of the vehicles are skyrocketing because of these bad roads. The alleged expense of a whopping 25 crore rupees on "Namami Brahmaputra" would have been more than sufficient to repair all city roads. ​Now, the forthcoming T20 International between India and Australia gives the only glimmer of hope.

2. Artificial floods from an hour-long smart shower bring the city to a grinding halt. This is a phenomenon that has surfaced over the last decade due to many factors, some of which are man-made. During the rainy season, the low-lying areas of the city are battered mercilessly and suffer the most. This problem is far more complex than it actually looks and cannot be ameliorated overnight. But it has to start somewhere and someday. As of now, we remain unaware of any concrete steps being taken to alleviate people's sufferings. 

3. Traffic snarls during peak hours and throughout the day on some busy routes makes driving the least pleasant experience – another phenomenon that has surfaced over the last decade; more over the last 4-5 years. The vehicular density of the city has multiplied manifold without the existing roads being widened leading to the current choc-a-bloc situation. In fact, many of the jams that we encounter each day are man-made because Guwahatians are a most undisciplined and selfish lot. We all want to go first, lane-driving is something we don't know, indiscriminate parking and honking are practiced more than our religious beliefs, buses, metro taxis, UBERS and other modes of public transport create more nuisance than convenience to the public. And all these happen right under the nose of the traffic personnel; the impunity enjoyed by the defaulters is stunning. We expected to see some changes under the new regime as part of good governance but nothing has changed apparently.

 

4. The GMDA water supply project to provide 24X7 water supply to the city residents was a positive step taken by the previous government and carried forward by the present dispensation. But the manner in which it is being carried out is only adding to the hardships of the people. A proper pitched road excavated in the month of June in my locality for laying huge water pipes is still lying in its dilapidated state having endured the whole of the rainy season and still harbouring hopes of getting re-laid. 24X7 water supply is a dream for all of us and we thank the governments for the same but the harassment has been huge. 

5. A city's prosperity is measured by the safety of its womenfolk. Recently, a few incidents of rape in the city – some in moving cars - have sent shock waves amongst the residents. The police and administration must ensure that these incidents are not repeated and the guilty meted out the stringent of punishments to win back people's confidence. 

6. Manual cleaning of the city drains presents an extremely unhygienic and embarrassing picture that's totally unacceptable by today's standards. Heaps of muck collected from the drains and stacked on the roadside lie unattended for days. Exposure to such filthy and toxic substances poses serious health hazards for the citizens. A scientific process is the need of the day. Nothing has changed here and we don't know if there's any action plan to change the present scenario. 

Some of the problems highlighted above require the right intent, effort and a lot of assiduity from the government. Moreover, understandably they can't be fixed overnight. However, any plan envisaged to resolve the above issues should be percolated to the general public ​through appropriate media that'll go a long way in minimising people's grievances. At the moment, there's neither any action nor any information thus adding to people's frustration.

Millions like me in Assam have high hopes from the BJP government. It's too early to jump guns and blame them for misrule as they've completed just a shade over a year in power. They have time on their hands and a lot of work is to be done. We trust they won't disappoint us and disregard the mandate given to them. 

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