GUWAHATI, April 10 - Ahead of the Lok Sabha election, many residents of Rani, Gorchuk and Garbhanga areas located on the outskirts of Guwahati city while talking to The Assam Tribune, expressed their views that their candidates should have a look into their basic requirements on a priority basis.
�Before taking up any developmental schemes, our representatives should lay emphasis on protecting the Deepor Beel. If government is really able to restore the ecology of Deepor Beel, then many of our problems will be solved automatically,� said Promod Kalita, an entrepreneur engaged in the eco-tourism business.
According to Kalita, due to the pollution caused in the water of the Deepor Beel, both animals and humans have been facing lots of challenges over the past few years.
�Due to pollution, both flora and fauna have been affected in the beel. This has caused economic losses to local communities and food crisis to animals, especially elephants. Our present MP Bijoya Chakravarty did nothing for the Deepor Beel. For the past few years we have seen dual stands of the government in regard to conservation of the ecological site. The officials concerned with development of Guwahati divert all the excess water of the city to the Deepor Beel as a measure to mitigate the problem of waterlogging, and dump all the garbage near the water body. This means people of this area are victims of the initiative taken by the State government to keep the capital city clean and beautiful,� Kalita said.
Talking about other burning issues of his area, which is a habitat of indigenous people comprising Bodo, Rabha, Karbi and other communities, he said, �Communication problem is one of the major issues here. The State government only developed arterial roads, but roads which connect many remote hilly villages are not in good condition. Drinking water crisis is another major problem for all of us. There is no water supply and in the hilly areas the groundwater level is getting depleted day by day.�
Dharmendra Das, a resident of Rani said, �First of all our representative should have to ensure adequate drinking water supply to every household of our area. Drinking water crisis every year, especially during winter, makes our life miserable. Next, we need a well-equipped hospital and a high school.�
Das alleged that authorities concerned do not maintain uniformity in implementation of various government schemes in his locality. �A large number of poor people of our locality are victims of political conspiracy and lag behind in terms of receiving benefits from government schemes. Moreover, many landless people are yet to get patta for the land under their occupation despite residing there for many generations,� Das added.
Jayanta Barman, a resident of Khanamukh locality said, �Waterlogging is a major issue in our locality. On the other hand, crisis of drinking water is a long-standing problem for us. We also need proper implementation of government welfare schemes.�
Hemraj Rabha, a youth of Gorchuk locality said, �A large number of buildings have come up in and around our locality in the past few years, which in the general perspective, is a sign of development. But in our case, the reality is totally different. Even people living in hilly and remote areas of Gorchuk are yet to avail proper road communication. Moreover, for the whole locality, crisis of potable water is a major issue. Our representative should look into these matters.�
Hemraj also said, �Land crisis is a rising issue for us. Already most of the farming land has gone to the corporate sector and the economic condition of the locals who are indigenous people, is worsening by the day. Some households are also deprived of land patta despite living on the land for many years. The government machinery is not concerned about these issues. The industrialisation that has taken place on our land is proving helpful only for outsiders, there is no scope for local new generation entrepreneurs.�