G Plus Stories of 2020 That Created Massive Impact
It’s the beginning of a new year. As the past year comes to an end we take a look back at the most impactful stories done by G Plus in 2020.
No trees chopped down for Guwahati-North Guwahati Bridge
The year 2020 started off on an overwhelming note, when the Public Works Department revised the Detailed Project Report (DPR) of the Guwahati to North Guwahati Bridge to prevent the cutting down of 250 age-old trees in the Bharalumukh area.
We reported that the DPR finalized by the Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) had proposed the cutting down of as many as 250 age-old trees located along the riverbank starting from Azan Pir Park to Kalipur. A detailed report of the same was published on 16th November 2019 under the headline "Killer Bridge: The project that will destroy more than 250 trees in South Guwahati". After the report was published, a co-ordination committee – Citizens’ Co-ordination Committee, was formed by the citizens of the city and residents including senior citizens and children formed a human chain demanding redesign of the proposed bridge in order to protect the trees which was also supported by Padma Shri Jadav Payeng.
As a result, the DPR was re-designed in February 2020 and the said bridge had been moved back around 15 metres towards the river thereby preventing the need to chop down the trees.
GMC probe into biomedical waste disposal across Guwahati
With the prevalence of the Covid-19 pandemic, safe disposal of biomedical waste remains a major concern. Incidents of biomedical waste being disposed off in Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) dustbins which are meant for garbage disposal were being reported. G Plus particularly reported an incident where a welfare worker, Ittisha Sarah, who runs an initiative called the Northeast Waste Collective, found a bag labeled ‘Clinical Infectious Wastes’ in the dumpster on the RG Baruah Road. The report also highlighted the dangers caused by mismanagement and improper disposal of biomedical wastes especially during a pandemic situation.
In response to our news report, on 18th May, a team of GMC officials inspected four hospitals located in Lokhra, NH37 and Gotanagar to check their biomedical waste management system including the Critical Care Hospital, Excel Care Hospital, Ayursundra Hospital and Akansha Hospital.
At two hospitals, anomalies were found as biomedical waste and general waste were not segregated during disposal. Logbook of waste management was also not being maintained. Critical Care Hospital was penalized Rs 50,000 while Akansha Hospital was penalized Rs 30,000 for non-compliance of biomedical waste management rules.
Guwahati schools roll back fee hike, transportation charges
Due to months of lockdown the government of Assam directed all educational institutes to waive 50% of their monthly school/college fees for the month of April. Many schools failed to inform students/parents of the same. Further, schools continued to charge miscellaneous fees like meal charges and transportation charges. G Plus published an article highlighting the plight of students and their parents about fee hike in certain schools and non-waiver of miscellaneous fees such as transportation and laboratory charges in other schools.
The article highlighted that Axel Public School charged full amount for transportation fees in spite of the children not availing transportation due to lockdown, and Delhi Public School Khanapara hiked its tuition fees by Rs 1,800 per quarter despite clear instruction from the state government that there cannot be any increase in school fees due to the ongoing pandemic.
On 16th May, DPS Khanapara announced it was rolling back the increased tuition fees. “The increased tuition fees have been rolled back to that of last year, i.e., 2019-20 for the pandemic period,” stated the announcement.
Immediate action against mushrooming news portals disseminating fake & fabricated news
On 9th June, G Plus wrote about the mushrooming of web-based channels in Assam lately as the state assembly elections were coming closer. We reported that, according to an estimate, there are over 100 pages on Facebook and other social media channels from Assam positioned as media organisations and are disseminating information of all kinds. Almost all of them do not have any kind of license or approval from any authority to run a media organisation. Most of them operated as mere social media handles on various platforms and were unregulated.
On 19th June, the then Chief Secretary to the government of Assam, Kumar Sanjay Krishna, held a discussion with the Commissioner and Secretary of Information and Public Relations Department, Preetom Saikia and Director Anupam Choudhury on the issue and directed immediate action against such web portals and social media users engaged in spreading fake and false news.
West Guwahati Water Supply Project resumes work at Ganeshpara after 8 years
G Plus, on 3rd October, reported the sordid tale of residents of the Ganeshpara locality as the water supply project and underground pipe laying thereof over the last 8 years had rendered their roads untenable while water supply continued to remain a distant dream.
The residents of Rajmohan Boro Path complained that their ordeal had been left unaddressed by the authorities for the last 8 years. And during rainy days, the road transforms itself into a virtual waterfall.
The article reported that after digging up the lane for laying pipelines in 2014 by Gammon India Limited, work came to an abrupt halt. Neither was the road repaired nor were the residents provided with water supply as expected. G Plus took up the issue with all concerned authorities including the GMDA and the Guwahati Jal Board.
Within a month of the report, residents of the area thanked G Plus as work on the water supply project was final restored after a prolonged halt of 6 years. Construction is currently under way.
Construction work begins on Devi Singh Lane in Manipuri Basti
G Plus had published an article in November 2019 last highlighting the plight of the residents of Devi Singh Lane in Manipuri Basti and about the uneven road with large potholes that made commuting difficult. The 700-metre stretch of the road had been in a shambles and remained neglected for the past several years. Rains worsened the condition of the lane as it filled up the same with mud and sludge and became flooded after even a short spell. Residents even complained of minor accidents due to the bad road conditions.
Within a week of publishing the report, the residents of the area thanked G Plus saying, "Thank you G Plus team!! Our road construction has started and progress is good."
Intervention by G Plus helps solve civic problems of Jalukbari residents
The locals of Nizarapur Main Road, Niribili Path in the vicinity of Ayurvedic College were facing challenges due to infrastructure issues and civic problems such as lack of proper garbage disposal. The residents claimed that a swamp nearby was polluted as people of that area threw their garbage directly on the college field.
To take stock of the matter, G Plus approached the concerned GMC officials. Within the next day, on 28th November, the issue was taken up by the GMC. It first sent a field official to inspect the area and discuss with the locals. Following this, a garbage truck and JCB were brought in to clear the swamp and the garbage.
Thanking us for intervention, a local resident, Diganta Borah posted on Twitter, "Would like to thank Guwahati Plus and GMC for immediate action regarding garbage dump in our area ward."
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