Letters to THE EDITOR: The smart city of our dreams

Guwahati is a name that induces strong emotions for many people, including myself, who have fond memories of spending weekend evenings at Nehru Park, enjoying half-plate chicken chow at the renowned “Reboti Chat House“ and savouring parathas at “The Paratha House”
Letters to THE EDITOR: The smart city of our dreams


The smart city of our dreams

Guwahati is a name that induces strong emotions for many people, including myself, who have fond memories of spending weekend evenings at Nehru Park, enjoying half-plate chicken chow at the renowned “Reboti Chat House“ and savouring parathas at “The Paratha House”. The Chandmari flyover and the open Bihu at Latasil Field are some of the places where hearts met for the first time and became soulmates for life. Many new dreams found their wings during the Commerce Adda.

Then Guwahati was a city. Now, Guwahati is “the smart city”. The Google definition of a smart city lies in its ability to accelerate innovation and sustainability while enhancing the wellbeing of its citizens. However, the main question is the sustainability of every innovation that the so-called smart city undergoes. After surgery, the doctors heal the wound, and the patient is advised to rest until he or she recovers completely. Guwahati is undergoing lots of surgery, be it the flyovers, the water supply to every home, or AC-buses. But do we really care for the healing and complete recovery after every construction? It takes several months to get back the old, beautiful blue sky that covers the city like a blue blanket. It takes almost one year to return the colour of the leaves from blackish or greyish to their actual original colour of dark green, light green, or yellow. Full-grown “Aejar,” “Krishnachura” and “Sonaroo” trees were cut during the construction of flyovers at Gorchuk, Boragaon, and Lokhora areas. The newly potted samplings will take several years to achieve comparable growth. More trees, more oxygen for our survival and existence. The development and conservation activities must go hand in hand; only then will the scenario create the optimal situation for our beloved city. The banks of the mighty Brahmaputra, which flows across the city just like a saree draped on a lady, can become a hot tourist spot, if maintained and structured beautifully. The buses running in and around Guwahati must be effectively controlled for the benefit of the citizens. Recently launched flyovers are stained with dirty red Gutkha spit, which exposes the not-so-smart citizens. We can just hope that, along with faster innovation, sustained growth is maintained so that Guwahati remains the same city where dreams can be achieved and life can be lived.

Madhushree Sharma


End of the Tunnel

By the wonderful grace of the Almighty, the greatest rescue operation of the century to rescue 41 labourers trapped in a tunnel in Uttarkashi came to an end on the evening of November 28. It was only because of the excellent piece of coordinated efforts by the concerned departments. All credit no doubt goes to the Central Government for their relentless efforts, even up to hiring a foreign expert to assist the rescue operation. PM Modi deserves all kudos for personally monitoring the rescue operation in spite of his busy election schedule. The whole nation is greatly relieved, celebrating the successful operation by bursting crackers and distributing sweets. But very shamefully the oppositions, mainly the Congress and the CPI(M), instead of appreciating the government's efforts, are politicizing the issue by attacking PM Modi for not being physically present in the last moment of the rescue operation, which is very shameful. The 41 trapped labourers all deserve kudos for their indomitable courage, spirit and patience. Before parting, may I ask the Oppositions to be Indian first and put the interests of the Nation above their ugly political designs, which they are always practicing? Jai Hind.

Dr Ashim chowdhury,


Concerning matter

Everything was done to save the 41 labourers who were trapped in the dilemma of life and death for the last 17 days in the debris of the Silkyara (Uttarakhand) tunnel. This was a wonderful coordination of tireless hard work, indomitable courage, and strategic skills arising from individual, collective, and institutional human sensitivity. But the contradictory news coming out at the same time is distressing. In a district of Uttar Pradesh, a Dalit was beaten so badly by upper-caste people for drinking water from a public tap that he died. A Madras IIT professor has been suspended following an investigation, after he harassed a talented PhD scholar so much, that she committed suicide. The third issue is about the criminal indifference of big countries to the environmental crisis. On this issue, leaders of many countries, including the US President, will not participate in COP-28 starting today. Even the Chinese President will not come. Both of these countries are economic and strategic superpowers, whose role has been most important in the environmental crisis. There is such Indifference in big countries, when the temperature has increased the most this year, due to the environmental crisis. This kind of indifference will prove fatal.

N Ashraf


Sadbhavana initiatives of the Government of Assam

A couple of years back, the present Chief Minister of Assam announced, with much fanfare, about the Sadbhavana initiatives of the State Government to evolve citizen-centric policies and mechanisms. Almost two years down the line, this initiative seems to be lost in the bureaucratic red-tape, or, maybe, it was just a political gimmick. Nowadays, we are not aware of any citizen-centric initiatives of the state government.

A visit to the Sadbhavana website (at 1130 hours on November 30, 2023) in the state government’s Departments of Administrative Reforms, Training, Pensions and Public Grievances shows that 146 applications were received, of which only 39.73% were disposed of. In the case of the Directorate of Elementary Education, the disposal rate is an abysmal 5.88%. As per the website, the performance of the Directorate of Pension (25% disposal rate), Pension and Public Grievance Department (33.33% disposal rate), General Administration Department (33.33% disposal rate), and above all, Chief Minister’s Secretariat (37.50%) are poor. We do hope that the Government says what it actually intends to do.

D Bhutia,


Top Headlines

No stories found.
Sentinel Assam