Fancy Bazaar : Once a Vibrant Marketplace

I am a resident of H.B. Road, Fancy Bazaar but had been staying in Delhi for last 10 years. There hasn’t been a day in the last 10 years that I have not missed my home. The streets of Chandni Chowk and Karol Bagh made me Nostalgic. The small eateries of Chandni Chowk reminded of the Puchka wala at Fancy Bazar, the langar Bangla Sahab made me miss the delicious Langar at Sikh Temple. I remember the lively Fancy Bazar where I grew up. The chimes of Shani Mandir mixed with the call of the Azaan. The entire area was a dream to live in. Harmony in Diversity.

It was the most happening place in Guwahati, infact in Assam. But, upon my return to my hometown, I was shocked to see the state of the area where i had spent my childhood. There are cars parked on both sides of the road. There is no space for pedestrians to walk by. The buildings are so dangerous that one bout of a fire incident in 1 building will burn down the entire area. The sanitation of the area is so bad and unhealthy that I am amazed as to how people have not fallen sick to malaria or dengue. But seeing the condition the area is in right now, I won’t be surprised if an epidemic breaks out in this area. The roads are filled with filth and garbage from shops. The main roads are swept clean but the lanes are left to turn into a swamp. One of the most shocking aspects was that Godowns have been provided in residential buildings and in residential areas (if there is any such space left). There are no fire safety norms being followed. Buildings do not have fire exits. The buildings inside lanes have 5 stories which are most deadly and also I am sure without any permission. There are no checks being done by the Authorities of the existing buildings and the upcoming Buildings, on their adherence to safety norms. North East being an Earthquake prone area, the residents of this area are not aware of the danger they can be exposed to. The buildings in this area are so close to each other, there is not even a space of 10 inches between them. There are no fire escapes, no sanitation, no earthquake precaution. Infact, there are open transformers in middle of lanes, naked wires hanging on rooftops and God forbid but in case of fire or emergency there isn’t even space for a fire truck to enter the area and its lanes. Inspite of No Entry, there are tempos and hand pulled carts plying in and out of the area the entire day. Stocks of big bulky parcels are being carried inside small lanes and under residential buildings. Whether, the residents are unaware or uncaring is a mystery. The authorities have closed their eyes to the conditions of this area. No one reports and no one is bothered to inspect.

I can see the entire city being developed, I can see changes happening in G.S. Road, but Fancy Bazar and its neighboring areas are being transformed into a dump with naked wires hanging to burn this area down at the smallest possible mistake. There are so many building which have come up in the area in the past 10 years, Lakhtokia, Kamarpatty, Fancy Bazar, H.B. Road have many high rise buildings constructed in the last 10 years but no laws, no rules, no regulations have been followed. The authorities have turned a blind eye to my locality, when this is the oldest and the most vibrant area of the city. The heart of Guwahati is on fire, its dying. I appeal to the authorities to please turn your eyes upon us. Give us a better and healthy living space. I appeal to the Municipal Corporation to inspect the buildings and its surroundings. I appeal to the authorities to please help us survive in clean and lawful environment.

Submitted by : Navin Sharma via Contact Page. ( You may also submit your article, stories )

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