With Guwahati lined up to be a smart city, there are several deficiencies that must be taken care of for the city to acquire any semblance of smartness. Here is a city without power several hours a day. Here is a city that has long queues of women lining up at roadside taps with buckets to take home a small fraction of a family’s daily needs of water. Here is a city with over 5,000 vehicles being added to its streets every month, even though no additiol road surfaces are being created for this prodigious load of traffic. Here is a city with open drains in many areas and rotting garbage heaps spreading stench and disease far and wide. Here is a city that is fast turning into a concrete jungle with no open spaces for people to breathe clean air. These and many other deficiencies must be taken care of before Guwahati can aspire to become a smart city. However, we take this opportunity to talk of just two needs of the city that must be taken care of urgently—one for the living and the other for the dead. We need pavements or footpaths that people can walk on without stubbing their toes, spraining their ankles or breaking their legs. We also need an administration that will admit that the city has the worst footpaths in the whole world. What we need for the dead is an electric crematorium that we have been hearing of for years. No one can really talk of a smart city without a crematorium that obliges people to burn precious wood to cremate the dead.
Two Needs of a Smart City