Guwahati Ward Watch: Bad Roads, Poor Civic Amenities Jeopardize Mobility of Rehabari Residents
Milind Sethia is a CA aspirant preparing for his final paper. He is a resident of By-lane 1, A K Azad Road, Rehabari. It is a modern constructed brick-styled concrete lane.
However, the first right turn on the road, and the nightmare of crumbling urbanization begins. The road leading to Sethia’s house is broken and has big potholes that jeopardize basic movement.
"The kids here find it difficult to go to school. There is water logging after rains," said Sethia. He claims the road issue was raised before the elections but was later not taken up. "We have addressed the issue to all the concerned authorities but nothing has been taken care of," said Milind Sethia.
During a recent downpour in the city on 14th September last, the entire area was submerged in the rains. Prashanta, who works in the sub-lane as household help for the locals said, "It is difficult to commute here, the government has not taken stock of the situation and I request them to intervene if they can better the roads.”
The residents of the area are also fed-up with the waterlogging issues. "Due to the rainy season, the lane is completely blocked due to waterlogging. There are driving issues as no two cars can cross each other simultaneously," said Sangita, a resident of House No. 7. The waterlogging happens as a consequence of the clogged drains which further worsen the situation.
Another road, similar issues
Just adjacent to the area is the 2nd by-lane, which is now under construction. The locals claim the situation was bad for years; the repairing work has just begun. "The construction is undergoing since the last month but for 7 years the situation remained the same as it was last constructed in 2009.”
The by-lane 2 residents had to complain for a long time, which finally led to the work getting started. "The drains are now constructed and we expect the road to be completed,” said a local businessman. Meanwhile, there is a catch. The proposed road being constructed will not cover the full length of the by-lane 1 that connects all the way to Chabipool. "The road leading to Chabipool is worst. Earlier it was motorable, now I can't even go there by rickshaw,” said a shopkeeper.
This reporter spoke to the tiny shack owners situated at the end of the current construction stretch. The area has been raised at one point beyond which there will not be any construction. This further creates a situation similar to what Milind and the residents of by-lane 1 face, which is the issue of half construction of the lane.
Problems continue although GMC assures intervention
After the issue was raised by G Plus, the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Collector, Navdeep Changmai, took stock of the matter. The official was proactive in listing the complaint and connected the parties to the concerned authorities. They approached the GMC Control Room. The office redirected the complaint to the Panbazar office although the complainants had earlier lodged a similar complaint. "I called on that number. They are like, you have to give an application to the Panbazar office and then we will look. We can’t do anything now as it will take time," said Milind Sethia to G Plus.
Lost in technicalities: The macro issue of civic woes
A general character of the civic problems is the response of the GMC. Although, they are proactive in registering the complaints, there seem to be issues in following up the matter. Another situation is of half construction as the sub-lanes are not considered during the repairing work.
G Plus spoke to Mrigen Sarania, former GMC Mayor, who highlighted that paperwork and tracking of complaints is a problem in GMC. "GMC people have a lot of styles of working. As such, people should keep the old complaint receipts so that they can write the new letter in reference to the old complaint.”
On the issue of road construction, he cleared the matter saying, “We have to understand that there are 2 primary agencies dealing with roads: PWD and GMC. At times, the GDD is also involved. So, the role of the commissioner should be to keep the complaint listed and whenever there is a public fund, the money can be allocated for the purpose.”
The former mayor further claimed that due to the unavailability of ward councilors, there has also been an evidence of nepotism in terms of constructing the roads. “But now the state government has started a WhatsApp complaint forum where the residents can address their issues directly,” said Sarania.
- Guwahati Ward Watch
- Rehabri Guwahati
- Guwahati Ward No. 14
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- Guwahati roads
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