GUWAHATI, Nov 20 � The tall claims of making Guwahati a �Smart City� with the best of facilities have truly failed to catch the fancy of the people, especially when the existing infrastructure is bearing the brunt of haphazard development.
KK Bhatta Road, a small but arterial patch connecting the MC Road and Nabagraha Road in Chenikuthi area, is a glaring example of the apathetic attitude of the authorities. The road witnesses heavy rush of vehicles throughout the day and is in a pitiable condition, with rampant encroachments on footpaths and a dilapidated surface.
Though pliable nearly three years back, the condition of the road worsened after the pipe-laying works by the JICA for the ambitious water supply scheme in Guwahati. Like many other roads affected due to the pipe-laying works, little repair work was been done in Chenikuthi, despite several attempts of the residents to draw the attention of the authorities.
�KK Bhatta Road is named after the renowned litterateur Kamalakanta Bhattacharya of Arunodoi era of Assamese literature and this locality is among the oldest localities of Guwahati. Despite having a historical significance, the road and Chenikuthi locality are being grossly neglected, let alone the possibility of carrying out preservation work. This road has memories attached to Dr Maheswar Neog, Dr Bhupen Hazarika, Dr Mamoni Raisom Goswami, Bijoy Sankar Das and many other distinguished personalities of Assam. It certainly deserves a better treatment by the government and authorities concerned,� said playwright Arun Sarma, who is also a resident of Chenikuthi area.
Flash floods have been a perennial problem during monsoon on a large portion of KK Bhatta Road. However, after the road digging work, it is a nightmarish experience for the residents to drive or walk on the road. The local complained that the last two monsoons were the worst ever in Chenikuthi. The utterly inadequate and blocked drainage adds to its severity.
According to the area member of Ward No 11 (B) Satyen Doley, several small scale drives to improve the condition of the road and drainage have proved insufficient. He stressed on the need to take up a proper scientific scheme to clear the silt and drains and repair the road and footpath.
�The KK Batta Road and Chenikuthi area serve as an important traffic diversion to handle the rush of GNB Road at Guwahati Club, Silpukhuri, Ambari and MC Road during the school hours as five schools are running in and around this area,� said Doley.
�Most of the vehicles ply on the footpath to give way to vehicles coming from the other side. Encroachments on footpath have further narrowed down the road,� he added.
Further, due to the adjacent Nabagraha crematorium, the area is of greater importance for the people of Guwahati.
�Due to heavy vehicular traffic on this road, a crematorium nearby and also due to traffic diversion, the residents of this area are facing problems. Despite several complaints, only a small portion of the road was repaired, revealing the apathetic attitude of those at the helm of affairs,� added Krishno K Borooah, general secretary of Save Guwahati Build Guwahati.