Guwahati Beautification Hitting Top Gear as its Wheels of Fortune Spin Hard
Guwahati city, over the last few days, is getting a bridal makeover as the entire world is set to shower its attention to the northeastern part of India owing to the Indo-Japanese summit in which Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese Premier Shinzō Abe will hold their summit meeting and also undertake a tour of the landscapes of Assam.
As a part of this, the city administration is leaving no stone unturned to get the city fully prepared for an assessment on its beautification front.
Green concepts are being introduced by the GMDA in its drive for beautifying the city by placing ornamental plants raised in large clay pots along the medians on major roads and flyovers.
“We have taken up the city’s beautification drive and eye-catching plants are being put up on the medians on important roads for adding greenery to the surroundings. Many volunteers had also come forward to donate the plants. In fact, we had planned to plant saplings on the medians but later decided to raise plants in pots and place them there,” said a contractor.
Further, almost all the concrete structures are either getting replaced or revamped with fresh coats of paint with workers working round the clock to get work done on time.
Sources close to G Plus said that the entire stretch from VIP Road to Governor House in Guwahati is getting a detailed makeover along with the stretch leading to the Assam Secretariat.
Another Guwahatian said, “We all should thank Japan’s Abe as because of him and the summit the city is getting a speedy makeover. I have seen earlier as per the Smart City Project, the state government has done many beautification projects but there was no pace in the work, resulting in massive chaos among the citizens as well as commuters.”
“Now we have a deadline for completion; hence all the contractors and officials are awake to make this happen and its happening,” he added.
It is to be mentioned that three government departments — the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC), Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) and the Assam Power Distribution Company Limited (APDC) — are working day and night to ensure Guwahati lives up to its ‘Smart-City’ tag.
Roads have been repaired and polished with new technology called milling and paving; streetlights too have got a colourful look with LED strip lights being placed around the poles, ornamental plants put up and garbage cleaned as per the massive clean-up and beautification drive.
The statue of Lachit Borphukan installed in the middle of the Brahmaputra, too, has been given a fresh makeover.
Meanwhile, the boundary walls of the Taj Vivanta hotel where the Japanese Prime Minister is scheduled to halt on the night of December 15 has also been beautifully painted on Indo-Japan themes under the initiative of the Guwahati Smart City Limited.
Other places in Guwahati, including the Machkhowa foot over bridge, the boundary walls of the Sukreswar Temple and the chief minister’s official residence have also been included in the beautification drive.
The Brahmaputra riverfront has also got a facelift with PM Narendra Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe scheduled to go on a cruise on the river.
Interestingly, the entire stretch of buildings on the MG Road is reportedly getting a yellow paint that has been initiated by the government.
Speaking to G Plus, a businessman said, “I have seen labourers at night installing bamboo ladders and painting the buildings yellow. I heard this is an initiative from the Assam government just ahead of Japanese PM’s visit as he will be using this road to travel.”
A highly placed source in Dispur informed G Plus that Premier Abe’s wife Akie Abe is likely to visit Sualkuchi, popularly known as “Manchester of Assam” for its large number of cottage handloom industries.
Reportedly, the entire stretch of the road connecting Sualkuchi to Guwahati, which is around 35 kms, is been repaired and polished.
The India-Japan summit in Guwahati on December 15-16, the first annual summit to be held in the northeast, is expected to give a major push to the India-Japan Act East Forum as Japan plans to invest around Rs 13,000 crores in projects in the eight states of the region.
A section of the people of the society also allege that although it’s good to replace the old with new but this also goes with a cost and the cost goes from the commoners.
It is to be mentioned that the grills on the dividers towards the Assam Secretariat have been removed and reportedly it will be replaced with a better design making it serve the same purpose with additional miscellaneous expense which could have been refrained from.
Guwahati dividers 'wrapped' in plastic as protection against paan/gutka stains
To ensure that these dividers remain spick and span till the summit, the entire stretch of dividers along the busy GS Road has been reportedly covered with plastic sheets to tackle the ever-present menace of paan and gutka stains.
As witnessed commonly, a section of Guwahatians with no civic sense whatsoever, simply lower their car windows or slow down their two-wheelers and spit on the dividers. The authorities have now thought up this novel idea to keep them from staining the dividers.
Meanwhile, the interesting part is that plastic is being used during a year when a plastic-free India is being promoted all over the country.