Headlines that affected Guwahati the most in 2017
2017 witnessed a large number of Breaking News. Here's a comprehensive recollection of news that highly affected Guwahatians this year - while some were maliciously sensational and led to widespread discussions, others were pragmatic and raised our sense of well-being as citizens.
- The State Government turns Hotel Brahmaputra Ashok into a state guest house – The city witnessed the shutting down of Hotel Brahmaputra Ashok on 1st September 2017. The hotel has been converted into a state guest house because Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal has converted the Brahmaputra guest house to CM residence. All the pre-closure business deals pertaining to the hotel were handled by the Assam Tourism Development Corporation Ltd (ATDC). The employees of Hotel Brahmaputra Ashok lit candles at the hotel premises as a condolence on the last day of its functioning.
- MG Road converted as walking zone – The government authorities have converted MG Road from Sukreshwar Temple point to Bharalumukh into a Walking Zone from 4 PM to 10 PM every Sunday, for people to enjoy the beauty of Brahmaputra river front. The initiative will also be followed on public holidays such as Independence Day and Republic Day. With the busy MG road converted into walking zone, all vehicular movements are diverted to AT Road and other arterial routes.
- Bishnupur Puja committee makes 100ft tall bamboo idol of Goddess Durga – With the aim to enter the Guinness Book of World Records, the Bishnupur Puja committee set on its mission to create 100ft tall bamboo idol of Goddess Durga. Designed by art director Nuruddin Ahmed, the idol was the perfect example of religious tolerance, harmony and & spirit. When the idol was almost completed, it got hit by a massive storm and collapsed a week before Durga Puja. And yet, the committee took on the challenge and completed 2 months worth of task in 6 days.
- 10 major streets of Guwahati renamed - Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led government in Assam proposed to rename as many as 10 prominent roads of Guwahati. While the lifeline of Guwahati, Guwahati-Shillong road was renamed after Mahapurush Srimanta Sankardeva (Vaishnavite saint) path, the road from Ganesh Mandir via Kahilipara to Lalganesh was renamed as Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya path, Assam trunk road (Bharalumukh to Paltan Bazar) was named after Vashnavite saint, Mahapurush Damodar Dev Path. Road from Kharguli to Noonmati was named after music maestro, late Dr Bhupen Hazarika. Sijubari Path was renamed after Chaolung Sukapha, the founder of Ahom kingdom in Assam and the Beltola-Khanapara road was named after Pir Ajan Fakir, who was Sufi Syed.
- Green corridor for smooth movement of ambulance for 6 month old – Citizens and police personnel of Guwahati came together to create a green corridor to help a critically-ill six- month-old reach Delhi in time for treatment. The incident occurred on 3rd September, when traffic came to a standstill at the city’s 30-km long stretch from Pratiksha Hospital on VIP road to Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport. The infant, Snigdharaag Bhuyan, who was suffering from a rare infection of the lung and spinal cord, was airlifted at 11:50 am and reached Delhi four hours later where he was admitted to Sir Ganga Ram Hospital. After undergoing 3 months long treatment, Snigdharaag recovered to a large extent and returned back to Assam with his family in November last week.
- Mission china release – Zubeen Garg’s Mission China released on September 8 this year and gave Bollywood makers a run for its money. With Assamese film industry facing the verge of extinction due to repeated flops in the face of steep competition from Bollywood, the news of Mission China came as a whiff of fresh air for Assamese cine-goers. Being the highest budget film ever of the Assamese film industry, it became the biggest blockbuster in Assamese film history.
- Traditional attire (Khadi) for government employees - On the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti, State Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma announced to provide more than 4 lakh government employees of Assam with Khadi gifts every year - 2 shirts for men, 2 sarees for women. The government employees now wear traditional khadi attires on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of every month.
- Guwahati’s logo for FIFA U17 selected – Logo designed by one Nibir Das of Guwahati got selected as the logo for Guwahati venue of FIFA U-17 World Cup. The logo was selected via a competition organised by Govt of Assam. Nibir is the son of Dilip Das, a renowned music composer and the present Station Director, AIR, Guwahati, and Riju Das
- New uniform for city traffic police - Guwahati traffic police on May 22 introduced new uniforms and 200 additional personnel to assist its existing 218 constables. The new uniform, light blue shirt and dark blue pants, is more comfortable, suitable to the city's climatic conditions and more visible on roads. It has replaced the white dress that the traffic police have been wearing for decades. The new uniforms are likely to get introduced in other districts of the State as well.
- GMC declares city open defecation free under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan – Guwahati Mayor Mrigen Sarania declared Guwahati as an open defecation-free city. Talking to the media in the city, Sarania said that the declaration was made after receiving relevant reports from schools, ward members and citizens. But while the Guwahati Municipal Corporation declared the city open defecation free in August 2016, city slums continue to show a contradictory picture.
- Awesome Assam TV Commercials – Priyanka Chopra starrer Awesome Assam TV commercial created a lot of buzz across the State this year. The video, which has made many fall in love with the state, showcases the state's uniqueness and beauty and lists reasons why one should have Assam on their bucket list of places to travel.
- Assam records 4th highest position in terms of alcohol consumption – Towards the end of 2017, Assam recorded the 4th highest position in alcohol consumption among women in the country as revealed by a World Health Organization (WHO) report. In 2006-07, Government of Assam earned revenue of 178 crore from alcohol sales, which has increased to 900 crore in 2016-17.
- Mercedes Buses to ply in Assam - In a significant development, the Assam State Transport Corporation (ASTC) signed an agreement with German company Mercedes Benz for operating around 175 buses in Assam under a PPP model. It is likely that Mercedes will also set up air-conditioned lounges for the passengers along with the premium bus service. Cab aggregators like Ola and Uber are also likely to be linked to the service.
- Amchang eviction – In the recently conducted eviction drive that took place on 27th and 28th November in parts of the Amchang Wildlife Sanctuary, more than 700 families were rendered homeless. The eviction teams, comprising personnel from various departments, with elephants and excavators, faced stiff resistance in many areas. Women and children wailed holding their belongings while the men tried, in vain, to block the excavators. 370 students of Janasimolu High School were irked with the government as their school was demolished in a fraction of minutes.
- President Ram Nath Kovind visits Kamakhya Temple – President Ram Nath Kovind visited Guwahati on 21st Nov, as part of his two day programme in North East India. During his stay in Guwahati, President Kovind addressed a gathering at the Guwahati University and later visited Kamakhya temple with his wife.