Saturday, February 10, 2007

my article

GUWAHATI VISION
TOURISM DEVELOPMENT

PART – I
GUWAHATI VISION -PAST AND PRESENT
Guwahati, the gate way of the six sister states of the North Eastern Region of the Indian sub-continent, is the capital of Assam. Surrounded by the lofty green hills in the east, north and south with narrow passages of out-lets, the white bedded mighty river Brahmaputra rolls slowly and silently in the west, as the symbol of peace and holiness.

MYTHOLOGICAL LEGENDARY
Kamrup and Pragjyotishpur- The Kingdom of Kamrup in the past was extended from Kartowa to Dikrai river. It was divided into four parts, namely; (i) Kampith, (ii) Ratnapith, (iii) Swarnapith and (iv) Soumarpith. Kampith was situated in between Swarnakosh and Rupika river; Ratnapith between Kartowa and Rupika river; Swarnapith between Rupika and Bhairabi river and Soumarpith between Bhairabi and Dikrai river. ‘Pragjyotishpur’ was the capital of Kamrup. According to Kalikapurana, Lord Brahma, the creator of the Universe brought into existence the planets and stars from this holy place ‘Pragjyotishpur’. In pre-Mahabharat era, Pragjyotishpur was the capital of Narakashur, the King of Demons. Bhagadatta, the son of Narakashur participated in the great battle between the Kauravas and the Pandavas and lost his life in the Kurukshetra battle field, while fighting in favour of the Kauravas. Pragjyotishpur of Mahahabharat era, is Guwahati of this present era.

Temples in Nilachal Hills
Kamakhya temple : Kamakhya, the holy temple of the Hindus, is situated in the Nilachal Hill of Guwahati. Consequent upon self- immolation of Satee in the sacrificial fire-pit arranged by her father King Daksha, Lord Shiva, the husband of Satee was extremely shocked with grief. Outrage and wrath turned him to be violent and he started to move around the world with the decomposed body of Satee in his shoulder. This perplexed all. A serious panic was in the sight and all were apprehensive that the destruction of the Universe would be imminent. The gods approached Lord Vishnu, the protector of the Universe for protecting the creation. Lord Vishnu was equally anxious for the impending perilous eventuality. He began to part with the organs from the decomposed body of Satee by his Sudarshan Chakra one after another, when Shiva calmed down and left for Himalayas. The sex organ of Satee fell in Nilachal Hills. This place was latter identified as the Devi Peeth. Devi Kamakhya’s existence in Nilachal Hill became known in course of time. The temple of Devi Kamakhya was constructed at different times by different rulers in this holy Devi Peeth. Thousands of devotees from different parts of the country assemble daily to offer puzas and sacrifice of animals, birds etc. before the all powerful deity Devi Kamakhya. In Ambubachi festival, there is a heavy congregation of devotees including monks and sages from different parts of the country in each year to mark the miraculous occasion.The red clothes collected from the Devipith at the end of the festival are preserved by the devotees as a holy shrine.
Stairs built by stones : Demon King Narakasur was charmed with the beauty of Devi Kamakhya and proposed to marry her. The Devi agreed on condition that the king would have to construct the stairs from the foot hill of Nilachal to the Kamakhya temple within a night. This process was started and it was on the verge of completion, when with the dissimulation of the goddess, the same was foiled. Narakasur became hostile for the illusive role of Devi Kamakhya and attacked her with wrath. At this stage, Lord Vishnu appeared in the scene and killed him. Those stairs are still proclaiming the architectural glory of Demon era. At present, there is a sound communication system upto the top of the hill, where the Bhubaneswari temple is situated. The State tourism department made immense development of the area.
Bhubaneswari temple : The Bhubaneswari temple is situated on the top of Nilachal hill, a place full of natural beauty. This hill-top is a fine natural observatory, wherefrom the beauty and grandeur of Guwahati city and the surrounding areas can be enjoyed with ample pleasure.
Bagala temple : The followers of tantras offer puja in the Bagla temple. There is a common belief that Bagala Devi provides mental peace and relief to the devotees, when confronted by evils and foes.
Chhinnamasta : The Chhinnamasta temple is situated adjacent to the Kamakhya temple. The goddess is also known as Gupta Durga. Devi cut her own head and carried in her hand.
Bhairabi temple : Bhairabi temple is situated in the lower portion of Nilachal hill. The floor area of the temple is said to be on human skulls. In each night of Full Moon and Dark Moon, the priests offer puzas to Devi Bhairabi in tantrik system. The pond in the temple complex is full of tortoises population of very old times. When called as ‘Mohan’ with some food-stuff they rush towards the beach to get it.
Pancha Peeth temples of Mahadeva (Shiva) : In Nilachal Hills, the Pancha Peeth temples of Mahadeva (Shiva) are situated. Those are Kameswar, Siddheswar, Koti-Linga, Aghor and Amratkeswar.

Temple in the river island
Umananda temple : Umananda temple of Lord Shiva, is situated in a tiny hill- river island of Brahmaputra. Thousands of devotees assemble in the temple premises on the occasion of Shivaratri Festival to offer puzas to Lord Shiva. There is a proverb that Lord Shiva burnt Kamdev into ashes with his wrathful eyes in this hill, when he and his wife Rati tried to disturb Lord Shiva in his deep meditation. This hillock- island is also known as Bhasmachal. Presently a plan to construct a rope-way from Guwahati to Umananda is under consideration of Assam Government.

Other temples in Guwahati city
Ugratara temple : Ugratara temple is situated at Uzanbazar near Jorpukhuri (pair of ponds). There is a pond inside the temple, where sacred navel Peeth of Devi Ugratara is situated.
Sukreswar temple : The great sage Sukracharyya is said to have established this Shiva temple ‘Sukreswar’ or ‘Sukleswar’ near the river Brahmaputra at Panbazar. The devotees use to attend daily to offer puzas to Lord Shiva. On the Sivaratri day, there is big congregation of devotees in Umananda and Sukreswar.
Janardan temple : The Janardan temple of Lord Vishnu is situated in the same campus of Sukreswar (Sukleswar) temple, where devotees use to offer puzas.
Baneswar temple : Baneswar is another temple of Lord Shiva, situated opposite to Sukreswar (Sukleswar) temple, where also there is assembly of the devotees.
Chhatrakar temple : Chhatrakar temple is situated in a hill at Uzanbazar, where Devi Mangalchandi, another form of Devi Durga is worshipped.
Navagraha temple : Nabagraha temple, situated in Chitrachal hills, is an abbreviation of nine planets, namely; Sani, Rahu, Ketu, Suryya, Chandra, Mangal, Budh, Brihaspati and Sukra. In the past, the astronomers used to make study and research regarding planets from this temple. Hundreds of devotees visit this temple daily to offer puzas to secure peace and relief from the ill-influence of the planets.
Basistha temple : Basistha temple, commonly known as Basisthasram, is situated about 12 kilometer away from Guwahati city. The great sage Basistha performed the three-timed religious prayer (‘Tri-Sanhya’) by bringing the waters of the river Ganges through meditation in three channels - Sandhya, Lalita and Kanta. This is also commonly known as Basistha Ganga. In the inner side of the temple, the grave of Basistha is there, where his mortal in the stone form rests in peace.
Ganesh temple : The Ganesh temple is situated in between Khanapara and Jorabat on the Shillong Guwahati road. Most of the passers use to pay their respectful devotion and offer coins as a mark of devotion to the holy deity. The magnitude of such daily money receipt is so heavy that the same are utilized for the purpose of education, treatment etc. through separate organizations established in this behalf.
Geeta temple : The Geeta temple of Lord Krishna (Vishnu) is situated in a hill in Geeta Nagar on the Zoo-Narengi road. The area is very calm and quiet and is attractive to the devotees. The main attraction of this temple is Geeta hymns and Krishna bandana.
Shyam temple : Shyam temple, another temple of Lord Krishna (Vishnu), is situated in a small hillock in Narengi area. Hundreds of devotees attend there to offer puzas and to hear the attractive Krishna bhajan.
Pandunath temple :Pandunath temple is situated at Pandu in the bottom of Baraha Parbat, where the thigh of Lord Vishnu in a stone form, is said to be there.
Balaji temple : A new religious temple ‘Balaji’ has recently been constructed near the National High way between Jalukbari and Beltola. The temple and its mode of workship is to some extent of the Southern type. This attracts hundreds of people daily.

Temples out side Guwahati city
Aswaklanta temple : Aswaklanta temple is situated in a hill at North Guwahati, in the west bank of the river Brahmaputra. In the lower side of the temple, there is a statue of Lord Vishnu in the form of tortoise (‘Kurmma Awatar’), while in the upper side, there exists, another statue of said deity in his last sleeping stage (‘Ananta sayan’) . A foot step of Lord Vishnu is there on the river bank, where the people performs the shraddha ceremony of the pre-generations and parents.
Manikarnewar temple : Mani Karneswar is a Shiva temple, situated in Manisaila hill of North Guwahati.
Dolgovinda : Dolgovinda is a Vishnu temple, where hundred of devotees assemble daily to offer puzas with fresh cow milk.
Dirgheswari temple : Dirgheswari is a temple of Durga, where heavy flow of devotees takes place to offer puza and sacrifices.
Haigreeb Madhab temple : Haigreeb Madhab temple is a Vishnu temple at Hajo, at a distance of about 32 Kilometer from Guwahati. The statue of Vishnu in this temple is of horse-necked.
Kedar temple : Kedar temple is situated at Madanachal hills at a few distance from Haigreeb Madhab temple. This famous Shiva temple attracts the pilgrims from different areas.
Powa Mucca : Powa Mucca is a holy shrine of the Muslims, where the devotees from various places assemble to offer prayer.

HISTORICAL LEGENDARY
Ahom rule : The Ahoms were of Tai community. Chao Chukapha, migrated from Thailand and entered Assam through Patkai hills. He established the Ahom Kingdom in 1228 A.D. Chukapha was in the helm of power upto 1268 A.D. Prior to the Ahom rules, the area was ruled by the kings of different dynasties at different times in the piece meal way. The Demon, Kirat, Kshatriya, Sudra, Barman, Hill tribes, Chutia, Barahi, Moran, Kachari were such heterogeneous dynastic rulers without any homogeneity. A controversy prevails over the question baptizing the Ahom Kingdom as ‘Asam’. It is not disputed that ‘Asam’ means unparallel and it is believed that the origin of Asam was from the word ‘Ahom’. The capital of the Ahoms was first at Charaideo and subsequently it was shifted to Gargaon. During the Ahom regime, Guwahati was under a ‘Barpukhan’, the administrator cum general for the western region.
Mughal invasion : The great Mughals tried to make expansion of their territory upto Assam. The Mughal generals Mirjumla and Ramsing attacked the Ahom Kingdom on a number of occasions. It was with the deep sense of patriotism and inite bravery of the Ahom army, the attempts were foiled and frustrated. The Ahoms could maintain profound glory and remain independent. The unyielding personality and strong determination of the great Ahom general Lachit Phukan, made it possible to achieve victory of the Ahoms in the Saraighat battle. Lachit did not hesitate to kill his own maternal uncle by sword for the sloth and lapses, exhibited by him, in constructing the garrison on the other side of the river Brahmaputra. The stern remarks ‘Maternal uncle is not superior to my mother land’ will remain as a source of inspiration for the future generations. When the Ahom Armies on the verge of defeat,Lachit moved to the battle field with his ill-health and drove out the Mughals in the famous ‘Saraighat battle’. ‘Momaikota Gar’ (garrison) is still projecting the glory and greatness of Lachit Barpukhan. It is a happy augury that the Government of India, of late, recognized Lachit Barphukan as a National Hero. His Excellency, the then Governor of Assam Lt. General S.K.Sinha (PVSM) deserves congratulation for his keen efforts in the matter.
Mans’-invasion and British-rescue : A serious disaster took place in Ahom regime following the weak administration and internal conflictsof the Ahoms. The Ahom regime started sinking like a setting sun. A section of traitors to the country invited Mans from Burma to overthrow the Ahoms from administrative scenario of Assam. The inhuman oppression beset with cruelty of the Mans went to such an extent that it rendered the innocent indigenous people homeless, apart from causing immense loss of lives and properties. The East India Company, a British trade wing, had to intervene and to drive the Mans out of the soil of Assam.
British Raj : The Ahoms lost the monarchy for good, when the Britishers merged the Ahom Kingdom, ruled by Swargadev Purandar Singha with British territory. The British Government, already conquering other parts of India, took over the administration of Assam. From 1874 A.D, it took possession of entire Assam including the Sadiya track and Balipara track in the north east, part by part. The capital of the British-ruled Assam was established at Shillong, a distance of about 100 kilo-meter from Guwahati. The Britishers made immense development of Assam in the 1st and 2nd World War periods, but it caused irreparable damages by applying divide and rule policy and taking away the valuable resources.
Independence of India (Swaraj) : A mass movement started in the whole of India against the autocratic British rule. The non-violent movement (‘Ahimsha Sangram’), under the dynamic leadership of Mohan Das Karam Chand Gandhi (‘Mahatma Gandhi’), the father of the Nation, also got the momentum. The people of Assam rose to the occasion to gain over the independence (‘Swaraj’). The British Government could well realize that the rule of the land against the will and sentiment of the patriots was not possible any more. India became independent on August, 15th, 1947. The British rulers succeeded in breaking the prolonged ties of fraternity between the Hindus and the Muslims and sowed the germs of unhealthy suspicion and treachery with uncompromising trend of hostility. This resulted in the creation of a separate nation ‘Pakisthan’ in bifurcation of India. India became a Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic Republic on January, 26th, 1950 after the Constitution of India was adopted. The Constitution of India was adopted and it came into effect from that date.
Effect of partition in Assam : The effect of partition was that Sylhet district of Assam was merged to East Pakisthan following a referendum. The plan to merge the undivided Goalpara district with Pakisthan, however, ended in a fiasco with the untired efforts of great patriots like Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi, Mahendra Mohan Choudhury, Bijoy Ch. Bhagawati and others with the blessing of Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation.
Division of Assam- Shifting of capital : After independence, there had been mass internal movements by the Hill people of Assam over the question of creation of separate Hill States. In the first phase, Nagaland secured Statehood on December, 1st, 1963, which was followed by the birth of Meghalaya and Mizoram. Soon after Meghalaya got the statehood in 1972, it forced the Assam Government to shift the capital from Shillong immediately and instantaneously. This went to the climax and ultimately, the Assam Government headed by Sarat Ch. Singha was compelled to shift its capital from Shillong to its temporary capital at Dispur (Guwahati) in 1973 amidst untold humiliation. A permanent capital complex has been set-up adjacent to the temporary capital complex recently.

EDUCATIONAL SCENARIO
Cotton college : Cotton College, the higher temple of learning of that time, was established at Guwahati in 1901, after the name of Sir Henry Cotton, the Chief Commissioner of Assam. The Cotton Collegiate High School is, side by side, providing education below the degree standard.
Earl Law College : Earl Law College was established at Guwahati in 1914 A.D. after the name of Archdel Earl, the Chief Commissioner of Assam to impart law education.
Weaving School : A Weaving School was established at Guwahati long back in 1920 to provide weaving training.
Other colleges and institutions : There are numbers of Schools and Colleges at Guwahati for general and technical educations and they produced numbers of talented persons, as the future of the Nation. There was no University in the North Eastern Region till 1947.
Indian Institute of Technology : The establishment of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Agiathuri - Amingaon area is the product of Assam movement on the ‘Foreigners’ issue’. This organization will, no doubt, give birth to talented persons from this area.
Guwahati University : The Guwahati University was established in 1948 with the renowned scholar Pandit Krishna Kanta Handique as its first Vice- Chancellor. The curriculum and the system of education of the Guwahati University was of very high standard.
Education and politics : It is, however, unfortunate that the standard of education has been receding day by day and the political games are getting upper hand in the field of education. The united voice of the students with constructive approaches is always welcome, but studies and politics exist parellely nowadays is not at all deserving but harmful to the generation as a whole. The students and politics became co-related. The temples of learning became the den of politics.
TEMPLE OF JUSTICE
Gauhati High Court : The Civil courts, criminal courts were functioning, inter-alia, at Guwahati since the British days. The Gauhati High Court was established in 1948, as the highest temple of justice at the State level. This forum of justice is extended with the territorial jurisdiction to other six states of the North Eastern Region.
Other forums of justice : Besides many different forums of justice, the Assam Board of Revenue has been functioning at Guwahati as the appellate revenue court, while the Assam Administrative Tribunal and the Central Administrative Tribunals, as the appellate court on service matters of the State and Central employees respectively.

MEDICAL INSTITUTION AND NURSING HOMES
Gauhati Medical college : The Gauhati Medical College is a well equipped medical institution, providing medical facilities to the people of the North East Region. According to the news media, the Government of India proposed to design it in the cadre of All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS). But this assurance has not been materalised during the last three years and it was proved to be a joke to the people of Assam.
Mohendra Mohan Choudhury Hospital : The Mohendra Mohan Choudhry Hospital, named after the then Chief Minister of Assam, is another Government Hospital at Guwahati, wherein also, proper medical facilities to the patients are available.
Dr. B.Barua Cancer Institute : Dr. B.Barua Cancer institute, named after the great patriot, freedom fighter and eminent physician Dr. Bhubaneswar Barua, is the only cancer hospital in the North Eastern Region, where the treatment facilities to the cancer patients are available. The required amenities and facilities are yet to be provided with the installation of modern technicalities beset with adequate modern equipment.
Sankardev Netralaya : The Sankardev Netralaya at Beltola is one of the renowned institution for treatment of eye ailments in the region.
Treatment and service by other institutions/organizations : There are numbers of private nursing homes at Guwahati to cater to the growing need of patients of this area. The prominent amongst those are, Down Town Hospital, International Hospital, Guwahati Neurological Research Centre, Dispur Poly Clynic, Central Nursing Home, Eastern Nursing Home, Nemcare, Good Health, Care Home etc.
Normally, the physicians of the Guwahati Medical College use to attend the nursing homes to provide services to the patients at the cost money.

MUSEUM AND LIBRARY
State Museum : The state museum is situated near Ambari area of Guwahati, where the ancient archeological and other glories in relation to the art, culture and tradition of the North Eastern Region in various aspects have been preserved.
District and State Library : The District and State Library, located adjacent to the state museum, are rich in voluminous precious collection of books.
Nabin Bardoloi Hall : The Curzon Hall, named after Lord Curzon, the Viceroy of India, was a public hall and library. This was renamed as Nabin Bardoloi Hall in the post independence period to perpetuate the memory of Karmavir Nabin Chandra Bardoloi, the veteran patriot, freedom fighter and an illustrious son of Assam. The importance of this hall is gradually evaporating following indifference and apathy from different angles.
TEMPLES OF CULTURE
Sankardev Kalakshetra : The Sankar Dev Kalakshtra, a product of Assam movement on the Foreigners’ issue, is the modern gallery of art, culture, tradition and heritage of Assam, was established a few years’ aback at Panjabari. A flood of visitors visits this temple of culture daily.
Jyoti Chitraban : The Jyoti Chitraban at Kahilipara of Guwhati, named after Rup Konwar Jyoti Prasad Agarwalla, is a wide platform for development of art, culture, music and cino- industries.
Rabindra Bhawan : The Rabindra Bhawan, near the state museum is another important platform for projection of various cultural activities.

ASRAM
Gandhi Mandap : The Gandhi Mandap (Asram) on the top of Sarania hills of South Sarania is a very pleasant place. The area did not attain the requisite development. However, the Asram gets back its life on October, 2nd of each year, when the father of the Nation is remembered on the Gandhi Jayanti day.

PLANETARIUM
Of late, Guwahati Planetarium has been set-up at Uzan Bazar, Guwahati in the style of Birla Planetarium of Kolkata. The projections in relation to functioning of stars and planets provide ample knowledge and experience to the people about the Solar System.

STADIUM
Nehru stadium : The Nehru Stadium on the Dr. B.Barua Road of Guwahati is a wide platform of games and sports of different types. This enriched the North East Region in games, sports and cultural scenario.
National Games : The National Games has been sponsored in or around Guwahati under the auspices of the Government of India. Though it was to be held in 2005 due to some unbecoming circumstances this could not be materialised in due time. It is expected to be held sometimes in 2006-07. The venue of the said games has been selected at Sarusojai, near the National Highway of Guwahati city. The project for construction of the main stadium and multi-purpose indoor stadium is likely to be started soon with an investment of Rs. 500 crores. It will be a permanent asset to Assam ,even when the National Games are over. The growth of a big township in the areas, adjoining to the Guwahati city will, no doubt, be a magnificent achievement, if the project is piloted with right earnest.

STATE ZOO
State zoo : A zoo was established in the R.G.Barua Road, Guwahati sometimes in 1956-57. It is full of beauty with natural surroundings and automatic enclosures for the dwelling of the animals, birds, reptiles and acquatic animals. The zoo was full of rare animals amidst appropriate natural environments and congenial atmosphere for inhabitation. It attracts visitors from different places . It is painful that since some couple of years, the condition of the zoo has been deteriorating. The unbound loss of the rare zoo population without proper efforts for rehabilitation ,may fail to draw attraction to the visitors within a couple of years, unless there is proper measure for restoration of the original cadre strength. The inadequate care, insufficient qualitative diet and improper medical treatment to the inmates in the zoo, are said to be the main causes of such catastrophe.

PONDS OF ANCIENT TIMES
In Guwahati, there are numbers of ponds in the heart of the city. The prominent amongst them are Dighali -pukhuri, Nak-kota pukhuri of Panbazar and Jor -pukuri of Uzanbazar and Silpukhuri on the G.N.Badoloi Road. Except, Dighalpukhuri, the others were not developed to the required extent. A proper development of the same for boating purpose with installation of colourful mini parks may be attractive to all.
Dipar Bil (small lake) : It is nearer to Jalukbari area of Guwahati and is rich of various fish population. The birds from unknown places fly over to this bil, enhancing the beauty of the spot.
Chandubi Bil (Small lake) : Not being far from Mirza-Bijoynagar area, Chandubi bil is full of beauty. This Bil (Small lake) is said to have come into existence after the great earth quake collapsing the hill and gave birth to a large water pool, sometimes in 1897. The rare seasonal birds use to fly to this area. This is a fine picnic spot and a place of attraction of the tourists.

AIR PORT
Gopinath Bordoloi International Air Port : The Barjhar Air port has now been renovated and designed as an International Air Port, named after Lokapriya Gopinath Bardoloi, the first Chief Minister of Assam, who was posthumously conferred with the highest National Award ‘Bharat Ratna’. The air-net system in relation to the international air service is yet to be formulated properly. The Air Port at Rupshi, 15 KM away from Dhubri remains closed since last 50 years and the project came into being during the World War II is now on the point of s\destruction in all respects.

RAILWAY COMMUNICATION
Guwahati Rail Way Station : The rail way communications, linking Guwahati with upper, northern , and southern Assam as well as the other parts of the sub-continent, are available from Guwahati Railway Station. There has been a fast development of the rail communication system after the Chinese aggression in 1962 and Pakisthan aggression in 1965. The railway line passing through the heart of the city with the increased railway traffic has been causing heavy congestion in the city.

RIVER COMMUNICATION
The Brahmaputra : The mighty river Brahmaputra has its origin at Manash Sarobar of Arunachal. It rolls through Parashuram Kunda ( Sadiya) , Dibrugarh, Neematighat (Jorhat), Tezpur, Guwahati, Soalkuchi, Goalpara, Jogighopa, Dhubri which places are mostly of historical and commercial importances. There was free movement of ships and vessels to Kolkata in pre-independence period, but this started to recede after creation of East Pakisthan (now Bangladesh) and took a final halt since the Indo-Pak war of 1965. Though the river services have now been restored, it is not yet upto the mark.

TRADE ACTIVITIES AND ROAD TRAFFIC
Nerve centre of business : Guwahati, the corridor of the North Eastern Region of India, is the nerve centre of business of the six sister states of the region, adjoining Assam.
Unlawful and criminal activities : The growth of commercial importance of Guwahati, on the other hand, gave rise to unlawful and criminal activities, which include, inter-alia, tax-dodging, anti-social and anti-national activities. The movement of goods to and from Assam mainly takes place through road transport. The trade centres and godowns of the traders and the transporters are mainly located in the heart of the city.
Pollution : The heavy movements of diesel tucks accelerate the acute traffic congestion besides creating unhygienic and unhealthy pollution of atmosphere and environment..
Grazing ground of the coal dealers : Beltola, the main pass -way for incoming and outgoing vehicular traffic through the National High way, has become a grazing ground of the coal dealers, which import Khasi coal from Meghalaya for further trade activities. This area has now been turned to be the dens of the evils and ultras.
Indecent and unhygienic sheds : It will be seen that a section of (i) poor classes of people and that of (ii) persons with doubtful origin, have taken shelter by the side railway line or in the interior pockets of the city. They constructed some temporary sheds in a most indecent way and continue to live with unhygienic approaches. The abnormal growth of pick-pocketers, thieves, dacoits, and militants may have the base in such mysterious areas.

CHECK POSTS
Jalukbari and Khanapara check posts : The Government of Assam set-up two check posts in Guwahati city at Jalukbari and Khanapara for different purposes, but the modus-operandi, of the check posts failed to create proper impact in deriving requisite out-turns. The check posts could not as well play the pivotal role in successful execution of the revenue-oriented programme of the State, rather in many cases adversity comes to the light. The various shortfalls and deficiencies at different angles are responsible for the odds.

PART – II
TOURISM DEVELOPMENT
We tried to project a clean picture in Part-I of this paper titled as “Guwahati Vision”. This part, on the other hand, reflects the prospect of the development tourism in and around Guwahati.
‘Tourist’ and ‘Tourism’ : ‘Tourist’ means a person, who travels for pleasure or recreation. ‘Tourism’ means the business of organizing tours or organizing holidays and services for the tourists. “The tourists are the pioneer of civilization”. They visit from one place to another or from one territory to another to acquire knowledge and experience in relation to the culture, heritage, social and economic spheres besides deriving enjoyments of side seeing. A comparative study and analysis enable them to evaluate the surpluses or deficiencies to make way for reconciliation. The reciprocation of views on tradition, culture and heritage can as well mitigate the acute thirst of knowledge. If we go back to the history, we find that Hu-en-Tsang, the great Chinese tourist, visited Kamrup during the regime of King Bhaskar Barman and left some precious notes on culture and heritage of this region at the relevant times. Likewise, the notes left by the famous tourist Fahien reflected a clean picture in relation to the glorious history of India. In Sankari era, Mahapurush Sree Sree Sankardev traveled extensively to many parts of India and earned immense knowledge and experience. This had the consequential effect in promoting of cultural and literary spheres of Assam. The Vaisnavism of the Sankari era, and admixture of different religious concepts has immense influence in different societies of Assam.
Tourism potentiality : Assam is a very beautiful State, decorated by beautiful, hills, forests, rivers and tributaries with green cultivated lands and water pools. The temples, shrines and monuments expose the glory and grandeur of Assam. There is immense potentiality for development of tourism in this beautiful state, full of legendary. In fact, the development of tourism in Assam remains far behind, compared to the other States of India.
Tourism development in Guwahati : Our instant discussion mainly rest with the tourism development in and around the Guwahati city, keeping mainly in view the projections on Guwahati Vision in Part-I above. Guwahati is, no doubt, a good platform for the tourists, but there is no adequate infrustructure and proper venture at any angles for proper development of tourism. It is, however, a happy augury that the State Tourism Department has taken adequate staeps of late for drwaing up various plans and projects to enlarge the tourism scenerio with a notable outlook.
We take the privilege to make further projections in this regard-
(i) Inferior quality of road : Guwahati is the most unplanned city of India. The roads inside the city, are narrow and un-spacious . There is little scope to widen or to enlarge the base. The traffic congestion is a regular phenomenon. The places of importance, as projected in Part- I above, are, no doubt, very attractive. It takes more than two days to cover the same. The road condition, however, causes discomfort and displeasure of the tourists. The development of road condition should, therefore, be given priority without prejudice to any personal and political consideration.
(ii) Project for new road : As a preliminary measure to such development, it is incumbent to give proper consideration on the following aspects-
(a) Diversion of railway line : The existing railway line, passing through the heart of the city, from Kamakhya Railway station to Narengi, need be diverted to the eastern part of the city, parallel to the National High Way at Beltola. This may solve the chronic problems of heavy congestion in the city. The provision for double way shuttle trains on the existing rail-line will facilitate the movement of the passengers in local areas of the city. The remaining portion of the wide railway line may be utilized for road traffic.
(b) Abandoned railway line : The abandoned railway line from Guwahati Railway Station to the Uzanbazar river side, can as well be converted for road traffic.
(c) Drainage system : There is no proper drainage system in Guwahati city for which heavy water logging takes place, causing artificial floods after a moderate rainfall, in the major parts of the city. The out-let system of city water to the river Brahmaputra through the Bharalu river with insufficient depth and uncleaned base is required to be improved by proper digging and frequent cleaning. The drainage systems are also to be systematized for free flow of water. The eviction activities of unauthorized occupiers and encroachers should receive priority. It is a happy augury that the Guwahati Development Authority has oflet taken keen interest to remove such odds.
(d) Construction of new road : A new road can as well be constructed in either side of Navagraha foot hills with exit point at Narengi or Chandrapur with construction of fly overs, wherever necessary. This may avert the heavy traffic congestion on the G.N.Bardoloi Road.
(e) Development of road traffic : There is dearth of avenue for introduction of Metro-rail in the existing rocky base structure in the Guwahati city. The development of road traffic is thus the only solution.
Coal- world in Beltola : The Coal business is termed as “The business of Black Diamond”. The coal depots on both sides of the National High Way at Beltola have created furor and nuisance besides degrading the beauty and austerity of the area. The coal world in Beltola is required to be shifted to a wide and spacious place preferably near Baihata area. This will remove the unhealthy environment pollution and liquidate the traffic congestion.
Shifting of Navagraha Cremation ground : The Navagraha Cremation Ground in the heart of the city was renovated in early nineties under the dynamic stewardship of Shri M.G.V.K. Bhanu, I.A.S., the then Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation. This is, of late, causing much inconveniences to the dwellers of Chenikuthi, Kanwachal, Silpukhuri and Nizarapar areas, on account of environment pollution consequent upon heavy inflow of corpse in the cremation ground round the clock. Under the changed circumstances, the shifting of the cremation ground to the bank of Brahmaputra in the Kharghuli or Chandrapur side, identical to the Bhutnath cremation ground at Kalipur, will facilitate proper utilization of the area for other constructive projects. In case it is materialized, the Government patronization will be necessary to provide adequate facilities for the carriage of the dead bodies to the cremation ground at a rational and reasonable charge so that the poor people can conveniently afford to pay. The evacuated area can as well be utilized for tourists infrastructure. The maintenance of the creamation ground is very poor naw-a-days and the restoration of the old glory and danger are considered to be imperative.
Shifting of Judges Quarters : The western side of the Judges’ field, facing the river Brahmaputra needs to be cleared up for fresh air. Presently, the Forest office and the judges quarters posed to be the hindrances in the process. The shifting of the Judges quarters to Kharghuli hills side and the Forest office to some other convenient place may enhance the beauty of the river side with setting up of some constructive projects for enjoyment of free and fresh air. The Govt. of Assam has annouched such a project for evacuation of the offices and the residences of the Judges.
Tourist buses : The Government of India formulated the broad based principle for issue of permit for tourist buses to accelerate the tourists development. In Assam, such tourist buses are practically being utilized as line buses making acute competition with the latter. This could happen due to improper plan- projects for tourism and implementation thereof. Such apparent misuse has thus defeated the very purpose of tourist buses. The most effective measure will be that the power to control the operation of such tourist buses should be vested to the tourism department for proper organization and mobilization of tourism . The tourism department may also simultaneously introduce some Tata Sumo and Maruti Vans in the city on a rational and reasonable fare structure for the convenience of the incoming tourists.
Second bridge over Brahmaputra : The Saraighat bridge is quite far from Guwahati city. In order to afford proper facilities to the tourists for visiting the places of legendary in North Guwahati area, the construction of a second road bridge, linking North Guwahati from the heart of Guwahati city, has a dire necessity.
Introduction of rope way system : Guwahati is full of hills. The tourists from different areas find it difficult to move to the hilly areas on account of heavy traffic congestion at different stages. Such odds can be liquidated, if the rope way system can be introduced between (i) Foot Hills of Kamakhya temple and Bhubaneswari temple, (ii) Bhubaneswari temple and Aswaklanta temple (iii) Aswaklanta temple and Umanada temple and (iv) Gandhi Mandam and Navagraha temple in a phased manner. This type of arrangement will be most attractive to the tourist and it will enhance the beauty and grandeur of the city. It has been announced by thge Chief Minister of Assam in his Budget Speech for 2006-07 that a Rope-way between Guwahati and Umananda will be constructed shortly, has already discussed above.
River communication : The journey by ships, steamer or boats through the river is always pleasant. The beautiful green hills on both sides of the river Brahmaputra threw some unique and extra ordinary glamour. The Government may consider to introduce such river trips through small steamers, vessels or decorated boats to Sualkuchi and Chandrapur area to the attract the tourists.
Aversion of heavy traffic congestion- The entry and parking of trucks in Fancy Bazar, Kedar Road, Athgaon areas near the business premises and godown premises of the traders and transporters create heavy traffic congestion in the city. Shifting of such godown to places in outskirts of the city area, will have a good impact towards aversion of heavy traffic congestion.
Shifting of Jail-The Jail complex in Fancy Bazar- Machhkhowa area has been occupying a large area in the heart of the city. The jail was installed in the area in the British regime, when Guwahati was a thinly populated area. With the growth population in greater Guwahati and acceleration of business activities in Fancy Bazar Machhkhowa and Athgaon areas, the said jail complex with the old design is simply reducing the glamour and grandeur of the city. A move was there for shifting of the jail complex to the Changsari area, but this has not been materialized as yet. In the event of any positive venture being taken, this will remain open for utilization by way of construction of a super market or other allied constructive ventures by which attraction of the tourists can be well ensured.
Shifting of capital from Dispur : We have deep concern over the question of setting up of the permanent capital of Assam near the existing temporary capital complex at Dispur in view of the mounting congestion in the city. The heavy inflow of persons from different parts of the State in the capital area daily, has been causing serious public inconveniences and threats on security. The expansion of Guwahati city to North Guwahati-Amingaon area as well as setting up of permanent capital in that area may be a proper solution.
Inadequate tourist infrastructure- There is no adequate infrastructure for the tourists, visiting Assam from different parts of the country and out side the country. The modern amenities and facilities are required to be widened and upgraded for accommodating the foreign tourists. The department of tourism, Government of Assam as well as the Government of India may consider to give priority for construction of tourist lodges near the important tourist spots. This will ensure substantial inflow of the tourists. A proper mobilization of resources can be anticipated in such exercise. Oflet the Assam Chief Minister in his Budget Speech assured that the pans for construction of five star holets to accomodate the tourist will be taken up soon and such tourist will be provided exemption of tax on luxury.
Growth of other infrastructure : The tourists inflow will help the growth of other infrastructures, like development of the area, road communication, business activities, avenue for self-employment and it will definitely upgrade the economy of the State.
Assam, attractive for the tourists : Assam attracted of the tourists for its beauty glory and grandeur till seventies. A large numbers of tourists visited Assam, the wide platform for the tourism with its primary base at Guwahati. The six sister-States, adjoining Assam also equally attracted the tourists to the places of importance on different considerations.
Fear psychosis : The peace and tranquility of Assam got a thunderous blow since the early part of eighties following the birth of ultras and their militant activities. This gained the momentum in course of time. The incidence of kidnapping, extraction of money, killing of the innocent people created acute fear psychosis in the minds of the outsiders. The tourists from in and out of the country suspended the touring mission on the ground of safety and security. The Government of Assam also could not ensure proper and safe passages to the tourists in visiting this area. It will take time to regain the lost image. The fiscal position of Assam would have been accelerated, had there been proper and adequate inflow of the tourists and such a venture is to be encouraged for the development of touring spot which will as well help much towards growth of economy in Assam.

GOVERNMENT INVESTMENT
The trend of unlawful activities of the ultras has considerably been curbed. It is high time that the Government of India should organize the tourism base and draw up projects for the development of tourism in this region by making adequate investments and taking steps for implementation and execution of such projects under its direct control and supervision. Such investment will yield substential out turn in the long run.

GUWAHATI VISION
We have projected a clean and crystal picture on Guwahati Vision -past and present. We also tried to high light the prospect for development of tourism and offered our suggestions for various improvements and developments, keeping mainly in view the upgradation of the Guwahati City and other the prevailing facts and circumstances. If the projects are worked out properly and executed with right earnest, there will be a drastic change on the Guwahati Vision in future. Guwahati will be an ideal city beset with higher importance and austerity, if the progressive measure are adopted and executed. The original beauty, glamour and grandeur will be restored. The ornamental decorations with modern and sophisticated technicalities will attract tourists from different angles. The formulation of different projects is a State matter. The State Government is to convince the Central Government with all plans, progammes and bio-data for allocation of funds. The development of tourism will be possible. If things are tackled with right earnest. The public opinion and public consciousness are equally indispensable and co-related for the success of such exercise.

No comments: