Urgent appeal to clean up Bharalu River
I am writing to express my concern about the dirty Bharalumukh area of Guwahati. The Bharalu River, which flows through the heart of Guwahati, has become a sewage canal carrying tonnes of waste generated from the city. The water, which was once fit for drinking and bathing, is now black and polluted, releasing an obnoxious smell that is posing a health hazard for the residents of Guwahati. The pollution of the Bharalu River is a serious issue that needs immediate attention from the authorities. The river carries sewage and waste from commercial establishments, hotels, restaurants, schools, and other sources and flows to meet the Brahmaputra River at Bharalumukh. The lack of proper drainage and waste management systems in the city has led to the pollution of the river, which is a natural drainage system in Guwahati. I urge the authorities to take immediate action to clean up the Bharalu River and improve the waste management and drainage systems in Guwahati. This will not only improve the quality of life for the residents of the city but also prevent the spread of diseases and damage to property.
Green buses and traffic congestion in Guwahati
Apparently, a large contingent of green-coloured pollution-free buses was recently introduced by ASTC to ply on the streets of Guwahati. The entire exercise was haphazardly done, leaving chaotic scenes at different places in the city.
First of all, quite a large number of such buses ply on the same route at the same time, especially during peak hours. Many times, most of these buses are empty, with few passengers on board. The bus drivers also do not maintain traffic discipline and create traffic congestion at different spots, including those on G.S. Road, R.P. Barua Road, GMCH Road, M.G. Road, M.L. Nehru Road, etc. At different points, the roads are narrow, and when a bus halts inappropriately on the road, it blocks the traffic flow on the concerned road. The situation gets extremely aggravated when multiple buses play at the same time towards the same location.
While the introduction of more buses, which are supposedly pollution-free, for public transport is welcome, it is common knowledge that such steps should be planned properly. At this point in time, the roads in Guwahati do not have proper and adequate space for bus stops. With proper planning and discipline, these issues can be overcome in many areas of the city. Prioritizing to address myriad issues, the least the ASTC could do is to inculcate traffic discipline among its bus drivers, especially on narrow roads. The buses should compulsorily take the left-most lane and halt only at the designated stops. A few lessons from BEST buses in Mumbai would do a lot of good for ASTC in the interest of the city passengers.
RGB Road, Guwahati
A shining star
Musheer Khan's superlative showing in the ongoing ICC U-19 World Cup continued as his second hundred helped trample New Zealand by 214 runs in a Super Six encounter here on Tuesday. Musheer Khan is forecast to have his best future in the Indian senior team. His performance shows his ability to fill the vacant spot as the best all-rounder. If Indian team management works upon him, he will be the best option.
Social media has now become the ultimate tool or platform for one to criticize someone for his or her misdeeds, but it has also become a platform for any Tom, Dick, and Harry to blame someone in power without any rhyme or reason. We all agree that there are black sheep in every political party, and at the same time, there are a few who are doing their allotted jobs dutifully and diligently. I, being a senior tax-paying citizen of Guwahati, was having some water logging problems in my premise for a long time due to a blockage of a drain in my vicinity. I informed our municipal ward councillor (ward no. 31) over the phone about my long-standing problem. To my pleasant surprise, the response was quick and sound. Our ward councillor, without any waste of time, sent six GMC workers under one supervisor to address my problem, and I was pleasantly relieved from my long-standing sufferings. Through this letter in your esteemed daily, I heartily thank my councillor, Ratna Singh. I feel that any good job done by anybody should be duly complimented, which in turn will inspire others.
Dr. Ashim Chowdhury,
India has been ranked 93 in the corruption perceptions index (CPI) in the public sector for 2023, with an overall score of 39. In 2022, it ranked 85 with an overall score of 40. Transparency International (TI) ranks 180 countries from 0 to 100 (highly corrupt to very clean). TI's report is commonly acknowledged because it collects data through input from experts and business people. Bribery, public funds diversion, use of official positions for private gain, governmental ability to control public sector corruption, public sector red tape that breeds corruption, laws governing disclosure of conflicts of interest by public servants, and protection of whistleblowers through the laws of the land are the major aspects covered by the TI while ranking countries for the CPI.
New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Australia have maintained their top rankings, while North Korea, Myanmar, and Afghanistan languish at the bottom. However, for obvious reasons, the score of a country assumes more significance than its ranking. As per the TI, the democratic status of countries that are at the bottom is going downhill. There are meagre institutional checks and balances to control corruption. Its report is a warning to all stakeholders who are in a position to control corruption to get their act together. However, even nations at the top of the index have revealed signs of going slow against corruption. That is why the global average CPI has remained the same in the last ten years.
Dr Ganapathi Bhat