Guwahati, one of the fastest developing cities in the Northeast Indian region has had a hoard of achievements to its credit. From becoming a part of the 1st state in the country to ratify the GST bill to housing a pool of numerous talented youth in various fields who have made the nation proud in 2016, the city is definitely an attraction for those who think they can conquer new heights. But, a crucial aspect has remained neglected in the city that can pull down all the other achievements of the city, and that is health.
Talking about my recent visit to Guwahati, although I very frequently visit the place, but this time, I was more observant on my way to Down Town Hospital. As I treaded upon a small bridge leading to the hospital gate from the highway, which was called GS Road, I was startled to see a huge, dirty drain right infront of the hospital!
The stagnant water was full of rubbish strewn upon the surface and floating upon the black water were plastic bottles, polythene, papers, diapers and the likes and most importantly, it had become a breeding ground for malaria and dengue causing mosquitoes.
Dengue is spreading alarmingly in Guwahati with several areas now turning out to be dengue-prone zones. The fever is spreading in many localities of Guwahati with Geetanagar, Noonmati and Mathgharia turning out as hot-spots of the mosquito-borne disease. Until October 18, 2,427 people in the city have tested positive to dengue. The disease has claimed three lives in the state, two in the city and one in Dhubri. The total number of dengue cases in the state is over 3,000. Kamrup (metro) continues to be the worst affected district in the state.
It may be mentioned that Assam witnessed a record 4,526 dengue cases in 2013, which had shaken the State health authorities. However, the number of reported cases was 85 in 2014 and 1,076 in 2015. Though dengue cases are reported after the rainy season, this year incidences were unexpectedly reported from the month of July itself when temperatures were favourable for proliferation of the Aedes mosquito.
A schoolboy died of dengue at a private nursing home in Guwahati in October due to which people of the affected areas have begun to question the lackadaisical attitude of government and district administration officials in dealing with the rise in dengue cases. People have accused authorities concerned of not taking up fogging in the places where dengue cases have been reported the most.
As I looked into the reflection of the hospital in the contaminated water, it was more like the water reflecting the health scenario of the fast developing city that has no time to even clean up the water to ensure their own good health. I stood there, observing people exiting the Down Town Hospital, medicine in hand hoping to recover soon crossing that same bridge underneath which lay the potential health hazard ignored by many passer byes. Of late, Assam has been in the news for widely campaigning its tourism campaign called “Awesome Assam”, but how can Assam be awesome when its fastest developing city is threatened by a mosquito, the breeding grounds of which are ignored by many.
Not many will read this article may be, and even if they do, they might simply ignore it as one written by some opinion maker who seeks to grab attention through a catchy headline. But whatever the case may be, the pictures and the cases are proof enough for you to decide your move in this regard. Its high time you stop depending of the so called ‘authorities’, for then, your wait will never end!
–By Shweta Raj Kanwar
The opinion within the article are the writer’s own and TNT-The Northeast Today may not subscribe to the same views