TEZPUR, May 20 - The historically significant scenic town of Tezpur, considered the nerve centre of Sonitpur district, is fast losing its past glory.
Naturally endowed with attractive features, the planned and beautiful town which is known for its landscape and many mythological legends, has been a major attraction for both domestic and foreign tourists alike since several years now.
Unfortunately, the scenic town which is located beside the mighty Red River is presently plagued by a myriad of civic problems like pitiable road condition, unscientific garbage dumping, haphazard construction of residential and commercial buildings, illegal sale of wetlands by land mafias and encroachment of wetlands by a section of unscrupulous people, poor maintenance of parks and historical monuments by the authorities concerned, stray domesticated animals often causing an awkward situation in the town, besides regular traffic snarls, etc.
Though a major gateway to the northern part of the region and second-most busy destination after State capital Guwahati from all sides, including tourism, Tezpur town today presents a chaotic scenario due to severe lapses in properly maintaining the town�s civic amenities.
The common people of the region can no longer take pride in this once-beautiful town due to burgeoning civic woes that seem to be increasing by the day and turning the tax-payers� lives into a veritable hell. Not surprisingly, the fervent cries of the Tezpur residents on various issues have till date fallen on deaf ears.
At present, the condition of most of the link roads in and around Tezpur town have literally become death traps for the common denizens. More importantly, though foundation stone of a number of road projects were laid just ahead of the recent Lok Sabha election, but only a few have been completed till date. A resident of Dhanuanagar area, Amitabh Rajkhowa expressed total annoyance over the deplorable condition of the roads in his residential area and said that the most regrettable fact was that in the true sense there was no authority worth the name to look after the vital civic problems that have been troubling the local people for years on end.
�Many link roads in the town, besides the vital networks connecting the main road of the town are dotted with ankle-deep potholes, thus posing a serious threat to the lives of the unsuspecting citizens. Further, the bone-jarring rides often take a heavy toll on the wellbeing of the motorised vehicles, besides the paediatric health of the pedestrians,� he rued.
It may be mentioned here that though Tezpur has received a sizeable amount of funds for its developmental works, and despite hectic lobbying by BJP workers and local MLA Brindaban Goswami�s camp, expected developmental work on the surface communication network in and around Tezpur town, besides drainage system, etc., have remained in a stagnant condition.
For example, the exasperated residents of Ushanagar-Ghorpora Suburi area expressed their displeasure over the pitiable road condition in their locality and alleged that local MLA Brindaban Goswami, as per his commitment given to the local public, has miserably failed to materialise welfare works in the historic town. �When egoistic nature of the public representatives get more priority, then the general people�s woes become trivial issues, leading the common public to become major sufferers,� the locals mentioned, adding that contractors and other people involved in the construction work of the sanctioned roads in the town give more importance on earning a few extra bucks instead of expediting their work in the collective interest of the tax-payers.
On the other hand, though the Tezpur Municipal Board (TMB) often claims �achievements� in the field of developmental works, but the experience of the tax-paying public at the ground level is shockingly the opposite. The common people today are still having to put up with dusty, broken and pot-holed roads, contaminated fluid and mud leaking into vital water supply pipes, perennial blocked drainage system, rotten garbage lying undisposed along the roadside at various places, thereby becoming a breeding ground for fleas and rats and posing serious health hazards.
The roads connecting Baan Theatre area to the mental hospital via Lachit Chowk, from Darrang College to Ushanagar, from the Circuit House point to Jahajghat Railway Station area, from Chanmari to Murha Teteli point, which are all major routes of Tezpur town, are lying in a state of total neglect since long.
The increasing number of vehicles, including more than 1,000 unlicensed three-wheelers (e-rickshaws and tempos) coupled with poor and dusty narrow roads and lack of proper footpaths are definitely contributing to frequent traffic snarls and increasing road accidents.
However, though some of these roads were repaired or reconstructed, but due to alleged siphoning away of allotted funds by the contractors in nexus with the civic body employees and political leaders, the same has resulted in poor quality of construction or repair works.
Moreover, the Silver School road is one of the most important roads in the town where three government girls� higher secondary schools and Silver Jubilee School are located. But the unpleasant odour and unhygienic ambience created by the stray pigs in the area have been compounding the already-existing woes of the common people.
Though it is a serious problem and well understood by the authority, yet the latter prefers to remain mum in this regard.
On the other hand, though Mission Chariali is considered as the gateway to Tezpur town, but narrowness of the road has created many problems for the heavy vehicular traffic and pedestrians alike on a day-to-day basis.
Though different organisations have been urging the authority concerned to construct a flyover at Mission Chariali point and remove the old and unused railway tracks for minimising traffic jams, but vested interest circles have prevented implementation of the work.
Under the circumstances, the common citizens have urged the authority concerned to address their genuine grievances on an urgent basis in order to restore the past glory of the historic town.