The virtual capital city of Northeast India today supports nearly 1.2 million dwellers along with 6 to 8 lakh floating population and amazingly Guwahati is still expanding to the north bank of mighty Brahmaputra river. Identified as a strategic city while New Delhi is looking forward to south-east Asian nations, Guwahati has now an elected body to look after various needs of the residents. The recent elections of Guwahati Municipal Corporation, held after nine years, pave the way for a new body to take care of the prehistoric city with a sustainable growth.
As predicted the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party and its ally Asom Gana Parishad succeeded in winning 58 seats in the 60-member municipal corporation. Two seats were won by Asom Jatiya Parishad and Aam Admi Party nominees, but shockingly the main opposition party (Congress) failed to win a single seat. As the electronic voting machines were used in GMC polls for the first time to facilitate 7,97,807 voters (including 4,00,658 females and 26 third-genders), the results came within hours of the counting of votes. The issues surfaced during poll-campaigns include a safe & secured, clean & green, flash flood-free city with the regular supply of piped drinking water to households and other civic facilities meant for city-dwellers.
The new governing body needs to take some pragmatic steps to resolve various issues raised by the electorate. Guwahatians deserve a safe city with a smart police force working in synchronization with the residents. They should feel the confidence to go any police station any time with their grievances as well as important inputs necessitated for the larger interest. Street lights across the city must work and the installed CCTV cameras in various points should function flawlessly. These all arrangements should work as a deterrent to the criminals. Children to senior citizens should be secured while moving around the city.
Public transport needs to be developed and managed in a dignified way so that everyone can travel safely. The commuters in the city should get benefits from the public transport till midnight, now which turns dead after 9 pm. The government-run city buses, if not the private ones, should ply on selected routes in the evening hours to cater the need of night shift employees in workplaces. Needless to say that more people use the public transport means the concerned authority’s relief while managing the traffic on the road and it will finally help in reducing the degree of air (automobile) pollution significantly.
The garbage management system needs more efficient workforces. Open drains in some parts of the city may cause a major health hazard to the citizens. As the city experiences heavy rains in monsoon, the drains must have the capacity to take the sudden water load. Often the drains in city areas start overflowing after a downpour and the filth reaches the streets and even the residential campuses. The water logging problem in many areas of Guwahati should be addressed scientifically.
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