Dispur: What Ails Assam’s Largest Constituency?
Guwahati: Dispur Vidhan Sabha Constituency is one of the 126 assembly constituencies of Assam. Dispur is also the capital of Assam. As per Election India, there are 354 polling booths in Dispur Vidhan Sabha constituency.
Dipsur constituency is the largest in Assam and one of the largest in India. The unique nature of the constituency is its composition of both rural and urban population.
The Dispur constituency is one of the largest areas of the Assam ranging from Beltola, Rukmingaon, Narengi, Mathgharia to as far as Sonapur and Morigaon peripheries. The issues ranging in the constituency are unique as per the area. From basic civic issues such as lights and running water, there are even conflicts of land rights in certain areas along with human-animal conflicts.
Running water: A key issue for the voters
The voters of the area are upset with the running supply water in the area. “Even after repeated assurances, there is no water supply. Every year before elections they come to us claiming that they will solve this issue,” said a Rukminigaon resident.
The roads have been constructed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to install pipes but the distribution has not yet started. In areas where the old water supply has been operated, the supply lines are weak and inadequate.
In extreme cases within the constituency including the Rukmini Nagar, Wireless, Beltola, Narengi area there are reports of lack of water supply.
One of the points in the vision document of BJP 2016 Assembly elections was to establish a new water supply system to cover the entire population of the city. However, that has fallen short in the constituency. Another aspect was to use state-of-the-art technologies to prevent flash floods.
Taking stock of the matter
G Plus spoke to senior officials of the Jal Board to understand the concerns of the people. The water supply lines are a coordinated web of networks working in tandem with JICA, Asian Development Bank (ADB) and other associate bodies.
As per the official, there is still no water supply but works are on-going by different bodies. On the right side of the VIP to Six Mile road, there is the ADB and to its left there is JICA-funded project. Construction activities were seen at the traffic point at Borbari Chariali, hindering the traffic coming from both the Six Mile and Narengi side.
The construction is part of the process to supply water to the residents of VIP Road being undertaken by the Asian Development Bank in collaboration with Assam Urban Infrastructure Investment Program.
As per the official, the Narengi supply has not yet started. "There are intentions of interlinking with the West Guwahati Water Supply to Kharghuli. For this, we have done 9 km of work earlier. The excess water will be diverted and decision on this will be taken," added the official.
There are also talks about reservoir connection from Narengi to Six Mile distribution.
The water supply is slated to be received in a chronological order of proximity with the Rajgarh, Lachit Nagar and Christian Basti to receive it first. However, the Dispur residents have been left frustrated over the course of time.
Drainage: A civic mess
Along with drinking water, drainage has been a key issue in the recent years. During the rainy season, the by-lanes are inundated with drain water in Hatigaon, Rukminigaon, Wireless and even the main roads.
Due to an improper waste disposal system, the drains are always filled with garbage. As per the locals, de-silting has been carried out by the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) but that, at times, is not enough.
In the sub-urban areas of Mathgharia, artificial floods and mud-filled roads are a common occurrence. The situation is evident, especially in the hills. As per the residents of the area, there is no drinking water for them. "The local MLA, Atul Bora, came to meet and even assured money but nothing has been done. The road is still to be constructed in these hilly areas," said Jeetumoni Deka, President, Zoo Narengi Chatra Parishad.
Although road construction has been increased significantly, the areas under the Panchayat and off the GMC grid face issues. The Chandrapur to Amchang areas have not yet received drinking water supply.
Another concern the constituency faces is the man vs animal conflict in the form of elephants. The Amchang Wildlife Sanctuary is a wildlife sanctuary located on the eastern fringe of Guwahati, Assam, India. The sanctuary is known for hosting rare and endangered birds and animals, including the Chinese pangolin and Assamese Macaque. The elephants being a migratory species move in between the jungles. As a result of this, they come in contact with the local population. Satgaon, Panjabari, Chandrapur, Sonapur peripheries face such occurrences quite a lot.
In the Bonda area of Narengi, even basic security measure like a railway gate has not been constructed yet. The locals have repeatedly raised the concern but to no avail.
Even more than the urban areas, the Panchayat areas face issues of neglect.
The opposition questions the incumbent MLA
G Plus spoke to Akon Bora, former two times Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) from the Congress. Bora has questioned the incumbent MLA Atul Bora for neglecting both the urban and the rural issues of the constituency.
For the drinking water problems, Akon Bora stated that under the Congress government different projects were undertaken which has not been forwarded by the current MLA. "We took a World Bank project in Chandrapur which was around Rs 300 crores. 30% works have been done and even machines were installed. As for the urban, we initiated a Rs 900 crore project and even installed a pipe," said Bora. The former MLA has alleged that none of these were carried ahead by the current MLA.
"Nothing has been done in the last five years," added Bora. He alleged that people have already regretted voting for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and will for vote the Congress this term.
G Plus tried to reach out to Dispur MLA Atul Bora for two weeks. But there was no response from the MLA and he proved elusive.
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