Ward Watch: Six Mile – Narengi VIP Road bogged down by prolonged pipeline laying works
Concentrated Area: VIP Road (25 B)
Ward No: 25
Population of the Ward: 68,000
Voter Population: 26,700
Population of VIP Road: 7,350
Ward Councillor: Niranjan Hazarika
The VIP Road that connects Mother Teresa Road with Six Mile has been going through construction in several instalments and patches for the last five years throwing the lives of the residents of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Ward No 25 out of gear.
The four-lane road that passes through two wards – 25 and 31 – had been dug-up and reconstructed at several locations due to the ongoing Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)-aided South Central Guwahati Water Supply Project.
“The roads are being diverted without any prior notice. They select a patch of one side of the road and divert the entire traffic of one side of the lane to the other side.
This not only causes confusion but traffic jams as well as one side of the lane alreadygets occupied,” Debashish Saikia, an employee of the Pratiksha Hospital that lies on the stretch of VIP road, told G Plus.
The VIP Road starts from Narengi and after passing through Patharquarry, Magzine, Borbari, Sachal and Vishnu Nagar meets Six Mile.
Another resident, Pranjal Baruah, of the Magzine area said that after digging the roads, the open surface remains untended for a long period of time.
“About a 100-metre stretch on the left side of the road from Six Mile at about 500 metres from Borbari, the road was dug up and tunnels of pipes were installed there. After that the road remained closed for more than a year. The traffic was diverted to the right side of the road which made it difficult for us to commute. Most of the traffic jams along the road occur at both ends of the diversion,” Baruah said.
Now, another stretch of 100 metres is being dug at Magzine on the right side of the road from Six Mile.
Commuting has become a challenge for the share taxi drivers too, said a cab driver Dilip Das.
“This is the reason why very few share taxis ply on this route. The route otherwise acts as a short-cut to Six Mile for those residing in Noonmati and Chandmari but is seldom taken by them due to the pathetic condition of the road. A lot of cab drivers have quit after they found that the cost incurred for repairing their vehicles is higher than their profit margin when plying this route,” Das said.
Potable water to houses remains a scarcity
The residents along the VIP Road, a newly developing part of the city, feel that they had been facing the brunt of water pipeline laying for much too long with no sign of relief visible in the immediate future.
“It is ironic actually. We had been facing immense problems commuting on a daily basis due to the construction of water supply system but we have not received any water from the government since the beginning,” Pramod Talukdar, who shifted there about six years ago, said.
Talukdar is not the only one complaining as several people in Magzine and Vishnu Nagar complained of no water supply from the GMC.
“When we brought the plot of land, we were told from the beginning that we will not get any water now. But when the water supply projects are completed we will be provided water regularly. So, we dug a tube well while constructing the house. The promised water supply has not come and we are not hopeful either,” Ekhlas Ali, a resident of Vishnu Nagar, who settled two years back, said.
Besides water crisis, the residents’ complaints include lack of public commutation facilities and streetlights besides irregular garbage collection as well.
“We need to wait at least 15-20 minutes every day for a public transport vehicle to travel to either Narengi Tinali or Six Mile. If one doesn't possess a personal vehicle, going to the major hubs of activity where people from here need to commute for jobs is very difficult,” Suheli Choudhury, a resident there said.
Councillor asks residents to be patient till project is complete
Councillor Niranjan Hazarika, when contacted, said that the water supply project is a state-funded project and will be completed very soon.
“We have raised this issue to the state government and during the council meetings too. The government assured that the construction work is going on a war footing and will be completed very soon,” Hazarika, who is a BJP councillor, said.
He further pointed out that the progress of the project has picked up pace after the BJP came to power in May 2016.
“True that the project was taken during the Congress’s time but it has picked up pace during the BJP era. Almost 60 per cent of the work is already complete. It had been delaying for the past six years. One more year and the residents will get both good roads and regular water,” Hazarika said.
On the other issues faced by the residents, he said, “The garbage collection NGOs are reluctant to go door-to-door as it is not a very densely populated area and they have to cover wider distances to collect garbage. But I will keep monitoring this from now onwards.”