‘Children of Bhabanipur in Noonmati Reach Schools in Blood-Stained Uniforms’
• Residents of Bhabanipur have continued to live in distress for 20-25 years
• Bad roads, no water supply are two major concerns of the locals
• Children skip schools during heavy rains
• Several accidents take place in the locality during heavy rains
• GMC commissioner says they do not have any plans concerning the area
People of Bhabanipur, a small locality in Guwahati’s Noonmati area, have been living in distress ever since they can remember. Residents continue to live without basic necessities like roads, water supply and proper drainage.
Locals claim that the government has failed in providing them with proper roads for almost 25 years now. Children of Bhabanipur reach their schools all bruised up after stumbling and falling multiple times on their way. Several road accidents have also taken place in the area but that has not stopped the locals from living their lives.
The road gets completely filled with mud and drain water during the rainy season which makes it difficult for locals to commute. Despite all the issues, children of Bhananipur make it to their schools but with bruised hands and legs.
“It’s been 20-25 years we have been living without proper roads. The condition of the road is very bad. My children face a lot of difficulties while going to school and college. My elder daughter is now in college and throughout her life she has seen no improvements of this road. It is exactly the way it used to be 20-25 years ago,” said Nilima Deka, a local resident.
“During the rainy season my kids reach school all bruised up. During heavy rains we do not send them to school for almost a week or two,” she added.
She also went on to say that people who live towards the higher part of the hill trip and fall while coming down to collect rations and other goods from the market.
Lack of water supply another major concern of the residents
Not just the roads, another major concern of the residents is the lack of water supply. While a few houses have their own wells, many do not. They go down to the stream to fetch water and then climb all the way up to the mountain.
“We do not get water supply here, so we borrow from our neighbours’ wells,” said Jaya Das, a local resident.
“My only request to the government is to give us proper roads and water so that our children do not face what we did when we were young,” she added.
Tara Bala Das, who is in her late 70s, has lost all hope of witnessing the road getting fixed. She said that during elections many people visit their locality and promise to solve all their problems but everyone forgets about the promises made once they win the elections. She said, “It is time for me to go and I feel I will never get to see this road in a good condition.”
No plans of GMC’s on road improvement at the moment
Away from all the hustle and bustle of the city, Bhabanipur, which falls under ward 22 (C) of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC), is located in one corner of Guwahati.
In a telephonic conversation with GMC commissioner, Debeswar Malakar, he said, “We do not have any plans right now on the roads and water supply of that area.”
He said that either Urban Development and Sewerage Board or Public Health Engineering takes care of that area.
“We have fixed a lot of roads in and around Guwahati. We have received several complaints from many residents of different areas of Guwahati and we fix it immediately,” Malakar added.
According to the details availed from the GMC, they have repaired and constructed 76 city roads and lanes in 2019 and 833 in 2018. The chief engineer branch received a grant of Rs 75 crores in 2018 to develop the drainage system and major river channels. They have prepared a three-year plan (2018-20) to assess the drainage system of the city, de-silt the drains and clean the river channels.
In the first year, GMC had spent a huge amount in cleaning and de-slitting major river channels. In the second, they focused on cleaning and maintaining the drains and river channels.