GUWAHATI, March 16 - As the State is gearing up for the forthcoming Assembly elections, the anti-incumbency factor seems to have gripped the voters, who are ready for a change.
When availing of the most basic needs of existence becomes nothing less than a struggle and if this struggle has been a continuous process since the last 15 years, it seems natural for the electorate to lose faith in the incumbent public representatives.
The marginalised section of the electorate in urban areas of Guwahati have lost faith in their present public representatives. This marginalised class who will exercise their franchise to elect their representative for the West Guwahati LAC are a discontented lot as they feel that for more than a decade they have been taken for a ride. This class feels that the incumbent government has been apathetic towards their situation despite repeated pleas for improvement in their standard of living. A sense of dissatisfaction has gripped the residents of Fatasil Harijan Basfor Colony as their living condition has not seen any improvement over the years.
Water, the basic amenity of life, has turned into a luxury; the quarters in this colony have not been repaired for ages, and squalor has become synonymous with living.
It is not only in this colony, but in all the poverty pockets under this Assembly constituency, the electorate feel betrayed. With discontent ruling the psyche, the anti-incumbency factor has been gaining ground now.
�We have not seen any change in our colony for ages. Our biggest problem is scarcity of water. GMC pipes have been reduced into showpieces. For poor people like us, buying water is a luxury,� said Bishal Basfor of Fatasil Harijan Basfor Colony. He will be exercising his democratic right for the first time this year and he is keen for a change in governance. �Under the Congress we did not see any improvement in our condition. So I want a different government now, a government that can deliver its promises and ensure that we get our basic amenities,� said Bishal.
The same sentiment was echoed by Sonu Nath Basfor. He said that he would vote for a change. �Hundreds of families live in this colony. And we are all fed up with the indifference of the authorities towards our long-standing grievances.�
Rows of empty buckets and utensils lined up near filthy drains may look shocking. But this is what the residents of this colony have been doing for decades. As some GMC pipes are running close to the filth-ridden drains, residents of this colony keep their buckets and utensils near the drains or in the drain hoping to catch a few drops of water. But the wait is futile most of the time as water supply is not regular.
�The twin problems of West Guwahati Assembly constituency are scarcity of water and waterlogging in some areas,� said Sumit Das, councillor. He said that some development work has been done, like road repairs and installation of streetlights.
It may be mentioned here that in areas like Lalganesh, Kalapahar, Sankarpur, Segunbari, Fatasil Ambari, etc., the problem of water scarcity is very acute. For the common people, buying water is a luxury.