By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Jan 9: It’s the sad tale of a ramshackle wooden foot bridge over the Morabharalu on the approach road to Fatasil Ambari from Kalapahar-Lokhra Road in West Guwahati Legislative Assembly Constituency (LAC) in the backyard of Dispur, the seat of power in the State.
This wooden foot bridge was first constructed by the local people on their own way back in 1965 as a large number of people, including students, office-goers and others had to across the river every day. Unbelievable! Even after long 50 years, the bridge is still in a state of severe despair. Everyday thousands of people pass through it, risking their lives. What this ramshackle bridge contrasts with is the slogan which the ruling Congress in the State has coined – Pundhoro bosoror bishwax, pondhoro bosoror bikax – in the run-up to the Assembly elections this year.
Despite being located in the backyard of Dispur, those at the helm of affairs, including West Guwahati MLA Hemanta Talukdar, continue to look the other away when the foot bridge is under their very nose. The plight of the people of the locality is such that every year they have to construct the bridge afresh as the Kamrup (M) district administration dismantles it from time to time. When people from the administration dig out the Morabharalu, they dismantle the bridge for the convenience of their work but do not feel like constructing it afresh. They leave the toiling job for the local people, who have no way out but to construct the bridge on their own, cost what may. One may surmise well for how many times the poor local people would have to reconstruct the bridge since 1965 only to be dismantled by the district administration while digging up the Morabharalu. This is the tale that exposes how Dispur, mostly the Congress occupying the seat of power, burns its bridges behind it and makes its return to power next to impossible.
If Congress’ Hemanta Talukdar, who is the MLA in the LAC, is to be blamed for the plight the people of West Guwahati LAC have to experience, AGP MLA RN Kalita should also share the blame. Kalita was also an MLA from the constituency.
The sitting Congress MLA and the administration have also been caught on the wrong foot for their negligence on the plight of the bridge over the years. The Kushal Konwar Path Unyan Samiti has been repeatedly requesting the local MLA and the administration to let it construct a concrete bridge at the spot on its own so as to ease out the situation for school-going children and others, but to little avail.
On condition of anonymity a local man said: “Our local MLA never pays any heed to our demands. His attitude towards us has always been step-motherly. We don’t know, why?”