GUWAHATI, April 5 � Situated in the heart of the city, Panbazar area of Guwahati has a legacy of its own and is considered as the academic hub of Guwahati. But with changing times, the area has changed a lot and the residents feel that haphazard construction works, both by private and government agencies, has taken a toll on the area.
Of late, sewerage has become one of the biggest problems of this area. As many other areas of East Guwahati constituency, this area is also paying the price of encroachment on the natural water channels, wetlands, etc.
�Sola beel, facilitating natural water exit from the Panbazar area has been encroached upon as preventive steps were not taken in right time. Last year, during monsoons, knee-deep water filled several localities of the area during the rains and flood water entered almost every house on the Saraswati Road and other areas. This year, the situation may even worsen,� said ex-MLA Ajai Dutta, a resident of Panbazar.
�Recent construction work taken up by the GMDA at the Assam Textbook Production and Publication Corporation field has occupied the only open space available in the area. Moreover, the natural water flow from north to south via Chatribari to Sorusola beel and Borsola beel has also been diverted, that would adversely affect the drainage water flow,� he added.
The worst affected areas due to flash floods are Lakhtokia, GNB Road, the area near Harisabha, Saraswati Road, Sayed Sadullah Road, Motilal Nehru Road, CK Road and Anundoram Baruah Road, among others.
The residents are also miffed at the diversion of traffic towards Lakhtokia and Panbazar overbridge point due to closure of the road between the Church Field and the Judge�s Field.
�The Panbazar overbridge point is overburdened with the traffic rush on the GNB Road. Apart from city buses and private vehicles, the Army trucks and vehicles coming to the Reserve Bank also ply via the same route creating a chaotic traffic condition,� Aniket Das, a senior citizen of the area, mentioned.
�We are the residents of one of the oldest taxpaying areas of Guwahati but unfortunately our civic requirements have been totally ignored by the authorities,� he added.
Some of the residents of the area also complained that many multistoried buildings are being constructed in a haphazard manner in the area without the prior permission of the authorities.
�Both the GMC and the GMDA, the authorities giving building permission, should make its mandatory to display the specifications of building permission like area, number of stories, date of permission, etc., on a signboard at the construction site, so that the builders cannot cheat the people or even the authorities,� Dutta added.