By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, June 26: Guwahati may have found a place in the list of 20 urban areas that will be developed as 'smart cities', but the capital city seems to have a long way to go before the dream is actually realized.
The utter chaos at the Six Mile area - with vendors occupying footpaths and even usurping the main road, people parking their vehicles anywhere and everywhere, absence of law enforcers to rein in city buses brazenly flouting regulations, and the under-pass of the flyover turning into an open uriting zone - speaks volumes of how administration and police officials have been inept in addressing even the basic day-to-day hassles faced by commuters and local residents.
Earlier, the administration had evicted the road-side market which used to exist on the VIP road. Later, it declared an area below the flyover on the Panjabari side as a vendor zone and allowed traders to do business there. Some vendors were even given "tickets" to put up stalls in the area. However, the number of vendors went on increasing by the day and businessmen have now occupied a large portion, beyond the allotted area, resulting in heavy congestion. The U-turns below the flyover, particular the one on the Dispur side, has become a virtual parking zone. While vehicles and motorcycles are parked haphazardly in the U-turn area below the flyover, auto-drivers have also converted it into a stand, blocking smooth flow of traffic. This despite the existence of "no-parking" sigge in the place.
The under-passes of the flyover, especially the one on the Dispur side, has become an open air toilet. People urite freely in the area, and it has become a nightmare for commuters to cross the place. During rains, the situation turns worse.
And then there are the infamous city buses which have been taking the city roads to ransom. The buses do not halt at the desigted stands, Instead, they halt right at the edge of the Six Mile flyover, blocking traffic on the service roads. No police personnel is ever seen in these areas to regulate the traffic and stop the mece created by rogue city buses.
One wonders, if the Guwahati administration cannot put things in order in a small area such as Six Mile, how can it dare dream of transforming Guwahati into a smart city.