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ভাবনায় নির্বাচন ২০২১
পর্ব ১৩
বিষয় : Silchar elections: Expectations from our new MLA
Tomojit Bhattacharjee (Delhi) 
27 March 2021
দেখতে দেখতে এসে পড়লো ৫ রাজ্যের বিধানসভা নির্বাচন।
আসামের নির্বাচনের তারিখ ঠিক হয়েছে ২৭ মার্চ, ০১ এপ্রিল এবং ০৬ এপ্রিল।
বরাক উপত্যকায় নির্বাচন আগামী ০১ এপ্রিল ২০২১।
আসন্ন নির্বাচন কে সামনে রেখে "ঈশান কথা" পুরো মার্চ মাস ধরে আপনাদের সামনে তুলে ধরবে এই ধারাবাহিক
"ভাবনায় নির্বাচন ২০২১"
যাতে থাকবে নির্বাচনের বিভিন্ন বিষয় নিয়ে এই সমাজের বুদ্ধিজীবী, সাংবাদিক, লেখক, বিভিন্ন পেশায় যুক্ত থাকা মানুষ এবং ছাত্রছাত্রী দের ভাবনাচিন্তা, মত-অভিমত, অথবা বিশ্লেষণমূলক লেখা ...
আজ পর্ব ১৩ ...

The run up to the assembly elections in Silchar has been rather tumultuous this time. The refusal of ticket to two time sitting MLA Dilip Paul created a huge controversy and Paul’s subsequent decision to contest as an independent flared up the issue further. After a long time, Silchar is all set to have a tripartite contest with Congress, BJP and Paul in the fray. Though both Dipayan Chakraborty from BJP and Tamal Kumar Banik from the Congress are first time candidates, they have been working for their respective parties for a long time. 

However, in the din and bustle of this controversy regarding the award of tickets, some of the leading issues confronting the people here have been pushed into oblivion. The word ‘unnayan’ is a much abused word here. While everyone tomtoms about it, how much is actually delivered on the ground is a different matter altogether. The leader representing this town, the second biggest in Assam, should be a visionary who has the capacity to gauge how this ever expanding urban sprawl is going to evolve in the next decade or so. Unfortunately, none of the leaders seem to have that charisma.

In the last five years, Silchar’s roads have undoubtedly improved. Some streetlights and footpaths have come up here and there but a lot still needs to be done. Our public representatives, our civic authorities must align their thoughts with that of the central government which off late has focussed a great deal on the development of infrastructure in India’s cities.  Let us jot down a few vital points which, in my opinion are crucial for the town’s development and our new MLA must take note of them. 

  • Planned Urban Development: Silchar is gradually turning into a congested concrete jungle with practically no open spaces. Some water-bodies, vacant plots, small Assam type constructions which used to give the town a relaxed feel have now given way for high rise multi storied constructions. Its pertinent to point out that all the open spaces that are available in the town today like the Gandhi Bag and the nearby sports facilities run by the DSA and other clubs were all allotted during the British era. In south Silchar, beyond Rangirkhari, there are absolutely no parks or waterbodies maintained by the government. Even as the town expands, the state government or the municipal board must purchase some land in Sonai Road or Hailakandi Road and develop new parks, ponds etc. Otherwise, in the coming days, all these areas will be further congested and the town will become absolutely unliveable. Isn’t it a shame that after the British left 75 years ago, we have not been able to create any new open space for people to enjoy? There should be stringent norms regarding development of multi storied high rises, allotment of space for development of spacious lanes and by lanes where at least fire tenders and ambulances can enter during emergency. Our new public representative must have an eye for these details.

 

  • Master Drainage: Efforts have been made in the past to provide Silchar with a master drainage facility but not much has happened. This must be done on priority with focus on problem areas such as Sonai Road. With more and more construction taking place rain water has no space get naturally drained. Therefore, a scientifically planned interlinked drainage network is an immediate need.

 

  • Waste Management: It would not be an exaggeration to say that Silchar is undoubtedly one of the dirtiest towns in the entire country. The waste management mechanism here is abysmal to say the very least and piles of garbage can be seen on the roads very often. A door to door waste collection mechanism was launched with much fanfare but nothing much seems to have happened. The new MLA must push for the modernisation of the waste management infrastructure and  a robust door to door collection system must be introduced. In addition, the locals will have to be educated to cooperate with the authorities because Silcharites excel in dumping waste in the drains.

 

  • Expansion of the road network:   A lot has been written about the need for a flyover to mitigate the traffic challenges in Silchar. However, given, the extremely narrow main roads passing through congested residential and commercial areas, construction of a flyover may not be feasible. Therefore, the alternate roads already available such as the Ambicapatty – College Road – Vivekananda Road – Tarapur link, the National Highway linking Hailakandi Road and Ram Nagar must be widened and developed as arterial roads. National Highway (Chittaranjan Avenue) can be easily developed into a four lane road with a divider and a bulk of the traffic can be diverted. Of course, the Silchar bypass must be completed at the earliest as well.

 

  • Medical facilities:  We are all aware about the huge challenges our medical infrastructure faces. The upgradation of the Medical College is a long pending demand and it’s a shame that a valley of 40 lakh people doesn’t have a basic cardiology department in the medical college. Not only the new MLA, but our MP also has a lot to answer in this regard.

 

  • Job creation:  The new MLA, irrespective of party affiliation must campaign for reservation of at least grade 3 and 4 jobs for locals in the state government offices. The leaders should also deliberate on how the existing tea industry can be further developed so that more youths can get employment. Brain drain of our youths to the bigger cities will have to be stopped so that they can be gainfully employed here and contribute to the region’s development.

 

The wish list is long. But when we cast our valuable vote for a candidate, we practically hand over our future to him. It’s a very solemn and big responsibility. Let us hope, our new legislator is up to the task this time. 

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