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Basistha Ashram crying for development

By City Correspondent
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GUWAHATI, June 19 - All the departments concerned of the State Government are now gearing up to organise the Ambubachi Mela in a grand manner at the Kamakhya Temple. For this festival, the Tourism department has announced to spend more than a crore of rupees to attract devotees from across the country.

But in such a time, the Basistha Ashram, located in the eastern part of the city, remains neglected by the government. The Basistha Ashram is one of the prime destinations for all devotees who visit the city during Ambubachi Mela.

Though the deputy commissioner of Kamrup Metro is the president of the Basistha Temple Management Committee, the local people of the area alleged that they have not seen any initiatives from both the district administration and the Tourism department to develop the temple premises till date.

�Every year, during the Ambubachi Mela days, thousands of devotees come to the Basistha Ashram to offer prayers. This temple is very famous in India. But unfortunately, there is no facility in the temple for the tourists. Even the temple premises lacks an adequate number of toilets and proper drinking water facilities,� said Shaymal Kumar Dey, a resident of the locality.

Ironically, the Guwahati Smart City Limited has set up a smart bio-toilet near the temple a few months ago by spending lakhs of rupees, but the local people alleged that it became defunct within few days of installation.

According to Dey, a few years ago, the residents of the locality moved the Tourism department with a proposal to develop the temple.

�Higher officials of the Tourism department informed us that they would take up a large scheme to develop the temple. But till today, we have not seen any kind of development in connection with the matter. On the temple premises, there is an urgent need to develop lodging facility for tourists along with proper security arrangements and parking spaces,� Dey alleged.

A section of people in the area alleged that door-to-door garbage collection initiative of the Guwahati Municipal Corporation also remains irregular in this area, where most of the people still depend on natural stream for drinking water.

Meanwhile, for the past few years, encroachment has been posing a serious threat to the Basistha River, which flows very near to the temple.

�Earlier, the river was 20-22 feet in width, but today it becomes 4-5 feet in width due to massive encroachment. The assurance by the district administration to evict all encroachers remains only on paper. The encroachment causes massive flood during the rainy season,� said Mrinal Medhi, a resident of the locality.

He stated that due to encroachment on both sides of the river and stone mining in Meghalaya, the river water is getting highly polluted.

The iron fencing set up in the area by the Indian Army also creates a number of problems for the residents of the locality.

�The Army has blocked old roads in the area by setting up the fencing. Even in some places, it blocked the entry points of many households. First, the Army claimed the land as their own, but later when we protested it, they announced to carry out a survey. The entry of the century-old Arundhati Mandir, which is located in a cave near the Basistha Temple, also becomes narrow due to the fencing. If the problem is not solved soon, we will start a massive protest against the Army,� a section of people of the locality told The Assam Tribune.

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Basistha Ashram crying for development

GUWAHATI, June 19 - All the departments concerned of the State Government are now gearing up to organise the Ambubachi Mela in a grand manner at the Kamakhya Temple. For this festival, the Tourism department has announced to spend more than a crore of rupees to attract devotees from across the country.

But in such a time, the Basistha Ashram, located in the eastern part of the city, remains neglected by the government. The Basistha Ashram is one of the prime destinations for all devotees who visit the city during Ambubachi Mela.

Though the deputy commissioner of Kamrup Metro is the president of the Basistha Temple Management Committee, the local people of the area alleged that they have not seen any initiatives from both the district administration and the Tourism department to develop the temple premises till date.

�Every year, during the Ambubachi Mela days, thousands of devotees come to the Basistha Ashram to offer prayers. This temple is very famous in India. But unfortunately, there is no facility in the temple for the tourists. Even the temple premises lacks an adequate number of toilets and proper drinking water facilities,� said Shaymal Kumar Dey, a resident of the locality.

Ironically, the Guwahati Smart City Limited has set up a smart bio-toilet near the temple a few months ago by spending lakhs of rupees, but the local people alleged that it became defunct within few days of installation.

According to Dey, a few years ago, the residents of the locality moved the Tourism department with a proposal to develop the temple.

�Higher officials of the Tourism department informed us that they would take up a large scheme to develop the temple. But till today, we have not seen any kind of development in connection with the matter. On the temple premises, there is an urgent need to develop lodging facility for tourists along with proper security arrangements and parking spaces,� Dey alleged.

A section of people in the area alleged that door-to-door garbage collection initiative of the Guwahati Municipal Corporation also remains irregular in this area, where most of the people still depend on natural stream for drinking water.

Meanwhile, for the past few years, encroachment has been posing a serious threat to the Basistha River, which flows very near to the temple.

�Earlier, the river was 20-22 feet in width, but today it becomes 4-5 feet in width due to massive encroachment. The assurance by the district administration to evict all encroachers remains only on paper. The encroachment causes massive flood during the rainy season,� said Mrinal Medhi, a resident of the locality.

He stated that due to encroachment on both sides of the river and stone mining in Meghalaya, the river water is getting highly polluted.

The iron fencing set up in the area by the Indian Army also creates a number of problems for the residents of the locality.

�The Army has blocked old roads in the area by setting up the fencing. Even in some places, it blocked the entry points of many households. First, the Army claimed the land as their own, but later when we protested it, they announced to carry out a survey. The entry of the century-old Arundhati Mandir, which is located in a cave near the Basistha Temple, also becomes narrow due to the fencing. If the problem is not solved soon, we will start a massive protest against the Army,� a section of people of the locality told The Assam Tribune.