GUWAHATI, June 6 - The unprecedented traffic congestion created by a demonstration organised by the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) threw normal life out of gear in the city today.
What worsened the situation was the fact that the city today recorded a day temperature of 37 degree Celsius, which was five degree Celsius above normal for the period.
The KMSS organised the demonstration at the Guwahati Club-TC School Point Rotary this morning in support of its demand on the issues concerning revocation of the decision to set up big dam hydel projects in the NE region, speedy steps to complete the NRC updating process and revocation of the decision to accord citizenship to the Hindu Bangla migrants staying in Assam.
The programme lasted for three and a half hours. The KMSS activists blocked the roads around the rotary, throwing all norms of civility to the wind, making life miserable for the road users under a scorching sun.
This resulted in several hours of ordeal in the form of unprecedented traffic jams on all the arterial roads leading to the rotary. The situation was such that most of the major roads were blocked in several-kilometre stretches and many people, including the aged and school-going kids, complained of severe heat-induced discomfort.
Save Guwahati Build Guwahati (SGBG) general secretary Satyen Doloi told this newspaper that the situation resulting from the KMSS programme was indescribable. With their arrogance, the KMSS activists today held the people of the city hostage. The manner in which the Guwahatians, particularly the road users, parents and schoolchildren, patients and aged persons were made to suffer between 11 am and 2.30 pm, speaks of the arrogance of the KMSS activists and also the imprudence of the local administration.
There is no point in allowing any organisation or political party to hold the Guwahatians hostage by demonstrating their �mass mobilisation power.� The city has many more venues these days � like the Khanapara Veterinary College playground, the Sarusajai Stadium, the Maligaon Railway Stadium, the Geetanagar High School Playground, etc, for holding rallies and demonstrations.
But be that as it may, it is the paramount duty of the administration to allow such events to be held only on holidays. And from the list of the venues for such programmes, the names of places like Dighalipukhuri, Guwahati Club-TC School Rotary, Judges� Field, Latasil playground, MG Road in front of the Kamrup (Metro) Deputy Commissioner�s Court, Sonaram School Playground, Assam Engineering Institute Playground, New Field and the Nehru Stadium should be dropped, Doloi said, adding, the political and bureaucratic heads of the administration should not bow down to the pressure of the �mass mobilisers.� There should be an end to the rule of the �mass mobilisers,� asserted the SGBG general secretary.
Several people resented the irresponsible behaviour of the organisers as well as the administration and wondered whether they would have owned up responsibility for any untoward incident, including death due to heat stroke, that could have resulted from the KMSS programme.
�The city was virtually paralised by the imprudent decision of the administration to allow such a programme to be held in the busiest place in the city, and that too, in front of a girls� school,� said senior citizen Ajoy Dutta. �Every conscientious citizen should condemn such irresponsible acts, which resulted in the failure of many patients to reach their healthcare centres. Train and flight passengers were also among the hardest hit today,� he said.