Ward Watch: Residents of Sixmile and Jayanagar complains about the deplorable condition of the ward
GUWAHATI: The living standards in Six Mile and Joyanagar of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Ward No 17 are in deplorable condition, the residents complained.
In a survey conducted by G Plus, 50 families of the ward were asked questions on 14 parameters of living standards such as water supply, streetlights, garbage collection etc., of which, a majority of the respondents gave negative responses against nine parameters.
More importantly, the most basic and crucial services such as drinking water, garbage collection, streetlights and drainage – services that are directly the onus of GMC – are also marred by incompetency, expressed the residents.
Regarding availability of potable water, 44 respondents (88 per cent) said that they don’t receive water at all while 3 others (6 per cent) said that they get water at irregular intervals.
The same goes for garbage collection as 19 respondents (38 per cent) said that garbage is collected irregularly. 47 respondents expressed dissatisfaction with the streetlights of which, one person (2 per cent) said the roads are vaguely lit, 21 (42 per cent) said there is insufficient light and 25 persons said that there are no streetlights.
About drainage too, 38 persons (76 per cent) said that it needs maintenance, while four persons (8 per cent) said that the drainage network is in a pathetic condition.
“This ward does not get much support from the GMC. We are pretty much on our own. We have our own deep tube-wells for water, but the lack of other facilities is making living difficult here; more so due to the lack of streetlights and drainage maintenance,” Romen Paul, a resident here said.
Six Mile and Joyanagar, which have recently developed into happening localities of the city with new hospitals being built, streetlights remain confined to the main roads only while the lanes continue to remain dark.
Another resident, Manika Das said, “It is very scary at night for women. Even though there are not many cases of eve teasing and drinking openly here, lack of lights in the lanes might encourage anti-social elements to take advantage.”
Dheeman Bhuyan, another resident complained, “This area did not have much water logging issues. But recently, there were instances when we’ve had flash flood like situations. I think it is due to the overburdened drains.”
Bhuyan was not the only one as 35 persons (70 per cent) complained of water logging of which, 17 persons (54 per cent) are of the opinion that the problem is confined within some lanes only.
“But if the government does not take prompt action, it will aggravate to the other lanes too because, until a few years back, the problem was not there in those lanes either,” Krishno Deka, a resident said.
This apart, the residents also complained of lack of pest control measures, public toilets, adequate parking space and of traffic congestion.
Good roads a saving grace
For a ward marred with problems, the roads in Six Mile and Joyanagar area are in a good condition, residents expressed.
Off the 50 respondents in the G Plus Survey, 16 (32 per cent) ranked the roads to be of good quality, and 31 (62 per cent) said the road conditions are of average quality.
Only 2 people (4 per cent) said the roads are of bad quality while 1 (2 per cent) said it to be in pathetic condition.
“The roads here are comparatively better than other parts of the city. Most of the roads here are newly constructed. Moreover, it acts as an important detour for trucks and other heavy vehicles. So, the roads need to be well maintained,” Rupam Lahkar, a resident said.
Another resident, Krishno Deka said, “Last year, the road conditions were bad as there were some optical fibre laying works going on. But after that, they were repaired and now they are much better than the roads in several other parts of the city.”
Roads however, are not the only high points in Ward No 17 as the residents are also inclined towards ranking it as a more secure place than the most other areas of the city. While more than half the respondents - 26 persons (52 per cent) – termed the ward as secure, 23 others, (46 per cent) are of the opinion that it needs more security. Only one person said that there is lack of security in the ward.
“There is lack of streetlights, but this area is more or less secure. This is probably because while most of the city roads get deserted after 9 pm, heavy vehicles and other commutation remains very vibrant here till late in the night,” Lahkar said.
Regarding the availability of medical facilities, all the residents have unanimously said that it is a major advantage. Within the radius of one kilometre in the area, there are at least four private hospitals and several pharmacies.
The residents also gave good remarks about lack of load shedding and good transport connectivity.
Road works consumed all the funds: Councillor
The councillor of Ward No 17 said that he had to spend all the money on road works due to which he could not take up other developmental issues.
“The funds are limited and I have to be judicious about spending it. I have laid more importance on the roads. There are several hospitals here. Moreover, it is a very important road for vehicles travelling from Basistha and Khanapara into the city. Good roads are a necessity here. I cannot compromise even a little bit here,” said Councillor Bhagyaram Terong.
Response from residents:
Giving an example of other wards, he said, “There is no ward in the city where throughout its extent, the roads are good. We all (councillors) try to do the works such as road, drainage, streetlights etc. by balancing our funds on a priority basis. In my ward, roads are obviously the highest priority.”
In a bid at defending himself, Terong however, said, “It is not that other works have not been done. There are streetlight posts in all the lanes and sub lanes. There are drains to the farthest part of the ward. It is just that the streetlights have not been repaired yet. We did not have the funds to buy the bulbs and have the drains cleaned more frequently.”
Terong also admitted that the garbage collection is not being done regularly and blames the NGOs for that.
“It is very difficult to control the errant NGOs. I was apprised by the residents about the NGOs’ irregularity. But, they don't listen to anyone. They are always late for work and will always come up with excuses. I am trying to streamline that part of the service by engaging other NGOs.”