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Poor civic conditions dog Chandmari area

By Nayanika Saikia
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GUWAHATI, July 14 - One of the oldest localities of Guwahati, Chandmari is a happening area with a thick population and robust business activities.

The Navagiri Road, just a stone�s throw from the Chandmari traffic point, is a busy lane on the northern side that also serves as a useful shortcut to areas like Silpukhuri, Nabagraha and Guwahati Club. The same can be said of the nearby lanes that run parallel to Navagiri Road after branching out from the MRD Road.

However, the area has been grappling with major civic problems for years. As soon as the rainy season starts, the most critical problem that the people of this area face is water-logging. Towards the lower reaches of the Navagiri Road, flooding is common during the monsoon season. Much of this problem can be attributed to the drains clogged with plastic waste and weeds, which make them overflow after just a few minutes of rain. This pathetic condition prevails not only around this lane, but the whole of Chandmari. Although the recent drain-clearing drives undertaken by the administration have improved the situation a little bit, much remains to be done as maintenance is a continuous process.

A large share of the blame falls also on the general public, as some people tend to take the city�s roads and drains for granted and consider them as dumping grounds. Throwing of garbage like plastic bottles of water and soft drinks, food wrappers and many other non-biodegradables points toward a woeful lack of civic sense on the part of such people, because of whom the majority have to suffer.

Apart from regular cleaning, therefore, awareness drives among the people would go a long way in improving the civic condition in this area. The rampant use of plastic also needs to be curbed, as they not only cause drain-clogging, but affect animal health as well.

Drinking water facilities in the area also need to be improved, as water supply is hardly regular. It is especially during the first quarter of the year, just before the monsoon season, that people have to face the menace of this irregular water supply even more, because of lack of rainfall activities.

One recent development that the Guwahati Municipal Corporation has made in the area is the house-to-house collection of garbage, which the people have heartily approved. To a large extent, this has done away with the use of small portions of land as veritable disease-causing garbage dump yards.

Abala Saikia, a septuagenarian who has lived here for more than half a century, laments that the lack of streetlights on the roadside causes great problems for the elderly people. Moreover, the practice of keeping dustbins outside the gates at night, so that the garbage collector can empty them in the morning, is actually causing more harm than good as the street dogs and monkeys scatter the filth all around, making the environment dirtier and more unhygienic. Another person from the locality believes that sweeping of the streets every day would be preferable to make maintenance of cleanliness a norm in the area.

Due to the tardy pace in construction of a culvert on the periphery of the park in the neighbourhood, certain traffic issues come up during the rush hours every day. The authorities have not been able to maintain the roads and this causes a lot of inconvenience to people, especially while driving. Haphazard parking of vehicles is another serious issue that impairs the daily activities of the people a lot. Vehicles parked just at the turn of the road, or those occupying half of the road itself, cause much difficulty to the people.

One can only hope that the overall situation in the area does not worsen at the peak of the monsoon season.

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Poor civic conditions dog Chandmari area

GUWAHATI, July 14 - One of the oldest localities of Guwahati, Chandmari is a happening area with a thick population and robust business activities.

The Navagiri Road, just a stone�s throw from the Chandmari traffic point, is a busy lane on the northern side that also serves as a useful shortcut to areas like Silpukhuri, Nabagraha and Guwahati Club. The same can be said of the nearby lanes that run parallel to Navagiri Road after branching out from the MRD Road.

However, the area has been grappling with major civic problems for years. As soon as the rainy season starts, the most critical problem that the people of this area face is water-logging. Towards the lower reaches of the Navagiri Road, flooding is common during the monsoon season. Much of this problem can be attributed to the drains clogged with plastic waste and weeds, which make them overflow after just a few minutes of rain. This pathetic condition prevails not only around this lane, but the whole of Chandmari. Although the recent drain-clearing drives undertaken by the administration have improved the situation a little bit, much remains to be done as maintenance is a continuous process.

A large share of the blame falls also on the general public, as some people tend to take the city�s roads and drains for granted and consider them as dumping grounds. Throwing of garbage like plastic bottles of water and soft drinks, food wrappers and many other non-biodegradables points toward a woeful lack of civic sense on the part of such people, because of whom the majority have to suffer.

Apart from regular cleaning, therefore, awareness drives among the people would go a long way in improving the civic condition in this area. The rampant use of plastic also needs to be curbed, as they not only cause drain-clogging, but affect animal health as well.

Drinking water facilities in the area also need to be improved, as water supply is hardly regular. It is especially during the first quarter of the year, just before the monsoon season, that people have to face the menace of this irregular water supply even more, because of lack of rainfall activities.

One recent development that the Guwahati Municipal Corporation has made in the area is the house-to-house collection of garbage, which the people have heartily approved. To a large extent, this has done away with the use of small portions of land as veritable disease-causing garbage dump yards.

Abala Saikia, a septuagenarian who has lived here for more than half a century, laments that the lack of streetlights on the roadside causes great problems for the elderly people. Moreover, the practice of keeping dustbins outside the gates at night, so that the garbage collector can empty them in the morning, is actually causing more harm than good as the street dogs and monkeys scatter the filth all around, making the environment dirtier and more unhygienic. Another person from the locality believes that sweeping of the streets every day would be preferable to make maintenance of cleanliness a norm in the area.

Due to the tardy pace in construction of a culvert on the periphery of the park in the neighbourhood, certain traffic issues come up during the rush hours every day. The authorities have not been able to maintain the roads and this causes a lot of inconvenience to people, especially while driving. Haphazard parking of vehicles is another serious issue that impairs the daily activities of the people a lot. Vehicles parked just at the turn of the road, or those occupying half of the road itself, cause much difficulty to the people.

One can only hope that the overall situation in the area does not worsen at the peak of the monsoon season.

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