GMC Polls: Voters Hoping For 'Smart' Guwahati

The major political parties in play are the BJP and its allies, Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) with a total of 7, 96,829 voters set to decide who comes to power.
GMC Polls: Voters Hoping For 'Smart' Guwahati
Voting underway in Guwahati for GMC Polls
Soumyadeep Das

Voters in Guwahati have been queuing to cast their votes since early morning on Friday, with the hope that municipal polls will pave the way for a cleaner and 'smart' city.

A lack of designated parking spaces throughout the city leads to parking issues and affects vehicular movement, highlighted a voter as he waited for his turn to vote in the ongoing Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) polls.

Prasenjit Roy, a young voter at the Ulubari High School voting centre said, "I live in Borthakur Mill Road, an area which is littered with fancy eateries. As these restaurants are not able to provide with sufficient parking spots to their customers, most of them park their vehicles in our lane."

"The residents of this area face immense problems in taking out their vehicles as most of the time parked cars block the road leading to a jam-like situation inside a lane," he added.

He mentioned that he would want this issue resolved with the GMC implementing strict protocols to park vehicles only in designated areas, and heavy fines imposed on violators.

Another voter, Shubhabrata Dey, pointed out that since the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came into power in the state, a lot of developmental works have taken place. He hoped that it would transcend into the municipal level as well.

Dey said, "Even in Guwahati we can see that in the last year or so, foot-overbridges have come up at major junctions, while major projects like construction of fly-overs have been undertaken to ease the traffic."

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However, he said, "I want to highlight that with heavy showers in the past few days, the lack of proper drainage systems led to water-logging in many localities."

"As the rainwater subsides, the streets are left with sewage from the drains and the entire lanes stink for days to come," he said, adding, "I will look forward to this problem being resolved."

Notably, GMC elections are underway today after a gap of nine years and citizens are hoping for a new dawn as issues like drinking water scarcity, water logging, damaged roads, air pollution, etc still remain prevalent.

A total of 197 candidates are in the fray for the 60-member GMC elections.

The major political parties in play are the BJP and its allies, Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) with a total of 7, 96,829 voters set to decide who comes to power.

The BJP has already won three wards unopposed, and polling will be held for the remaining 57 wards. It had given its ally, Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) seven seats to contest.

Electronic voting machines (EVMs) are being used in the GMC polls, counting for which will take place on April 24.

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