Guwahati – the unplanned child

Friday, 15 November 2019

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Guwahati – the unplanned child

Sidharth Bedi Varma | December 15, 2018 12:57 hrs


I was in Dehradun about a week ago I was surprised that the city had so much to offer, compared to Guwahati. This was not because I went there for the first time, but more because I could see what was different about the city if I drew a parallel with Guwahati.

If I am to believe Wikipedia stats, Guwahati and Dehradun cover almost the same amount of area. This makes me wonder how can the two cities be so different despite both having their geographical strengths.

Well, from my observation, Dehradun’s strength possibly lies in its planning and what it wanted to achieve. It’s like Dehradun always knew that it was a hill station and it would do best to play to its strengths. Of course, this opposed to Guwahati makes our city look like the child who really does not know what to do – especially when it comes to career choices. There are days when Guwahati aspires to become a green city and then an ‘industrial hub’ the next (read: Advantage Assam).

Of course you forget that the child always has a mischievous uncle around waking the crazies up in him. So Guwahati’s unplanned growth can be attributed to its upbringing – unplanned residential and commercial areas, mismanaged traffic, delay in allocation of funds, corruption, ill-aligned public servants - the list is quite long.

It’s like Guwahati is the child who was forced to grow up with bad parents and I wish Guwahati had better parents.

Point is, the two cities are poles apart when it comes to the basic blueprint. Dehradun is already home to basic/bigger brands like McD’s and JW Marriot and Guwahati is still dealing with stalled projects despite boasting spending power and EODB rankings.

Some days I wonder if our city is like the unplanned child that came into existence and “an administration” became the parent unwillingly. Now that the kid is growing up, they’re just confused about where he’s heading or where he is supposed to be.

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