GUWAHATI, April 17 � Elections are over and people of Guwahati are once again left with the same set of problems that have, over the years, become the defining characteristics of the city.
Exposing the ugly face of the biggest hub of the Northeast, the broken and displaced footpath slabs are a common site that is giving the Bihu-revellers a harrowing time during the evening.
Compounded by the problem of poor street lighting, these footpaths, in parts of the city, are turning into death traps for the pedestrians after nightfall.
For Naren Kalita, whose leg got badly bruised after he had fallen on such a displaced concrete footpath slab at Bora Service, could have ended up losing his life but for a help in time.
�I stumbled upon a concrete slab that was displaced exposing the chasm underneath around 9.30 pm. Thankfully, another pedestrian helped me out of the pit and also get some first aid at a pharmacy. My left leg was very badly injured in the process. I have always noticed broken slabs here and there in the city but it was my first experience of stumbling on one of those,� he said.
Dilapidated and crumbling footpaths have always remained a problem for Guwahatians. Both newly built and the older footpaths in many parts of the city are glaring examples of the apathy and lack of maintenance on the part of the authorities.
The condition of footpaths on both sides of the newly repaired and expanded GS Road at Bhangagarh and Christianbasti is no better. Big gaps between the slabs often cause problem to the pedestrians on this busy and arterial road.
Other busy areas facing the same problem are the GNB Road at Ambari, MRD Road, Chandmari, Fatasil Ambari area, parts of the RG Baruah Road, Kahilipara area, MC Road, Chenikuthi, and Uzanbazar, among others.
�Thousands of people, including the elderly and small children, walk on these roads every day. Thus the nature of this problem is not trivial by any means. The workers cleaning the drains must be instructed to place the slabs carefully after cleaning the drain. Frequent monitoring is also required to avoid accidents,� a senior citizen of Chandmari area added.