Hurdles of life at “Gowala Basti”


Nearly five hundred families of the city, inhabited at Gowala Basti, are living in unhygienic conditions and threats of frequent fire outbreaks. The unorganized settlement located at the city outskirts exactly opposite to the state secretariat has no minimal measure to lead a quality life.

Lack of organized waste-management system, intuitive cattle rearing and unavailability of drainage has also exposed the entire settlement to frequent epidemic outbreaks and waterborne diseases.

“This place is not less than a hell for us. Every day we fight for water, shelter, food even for defecation. But, as we have no place to go we are indefinable but to stay here till death” said a local.

According to government reports, altogether 432 families are residing here as per ration card count. The 25 acre land of the area is partly divided in three equal shares. The major fraction of the land goes to the royal family, the rest belongs to some the dwellers and government.

On the other hand, according to locals, more than five hundred families are residing here and the total population of the area could not be less than 10,000. It is also learnt to have asked that every year a large number of people from adjoining states come here and never take a flight back.

“People from other states come here in search of better wages. The workers of construction line, porters and other such odd jobs get high remuneration than most other places of the country and this has enormously augmented the population scale”, said veteran local of the area.

Meanwhile, the state government had undertaken a project to rehabilitate all the slum dwellers to flat oriented buildings long ago. Since the period of previous government the project is under process. And, with the inception of BJP-IPFT government in the state, the process gathered a good pace. Only recently, MLA Dilip Kumar Das along with DM west Tripura district and SDM Sadar held a meeting with the inhabitants of Gowala Basti.

“Under Agartala Smart City Mission, every city dwellers will be facilitated with best necessary facility for living. The people of slums will also be relocated in hygienic neighbourhoods. A 7 acre plot has been finalized for this purpose behind the New Raj Bhavan complex. All of the families will be given what they deserve as a resident of the city” said MLA Dr. Dilip Das while speaking to the correspondent over phone.

Locals of the area discovered not so excited with this rehabilitation drive. “We are hearing such things since childhood and now we have grown up young but nothing has came into being. In every pre-election outreach we are being convinced time and again that after assuming power our issue will be the first thing to be addressed”, said a group of youth  in a raging voice.

While asked of the new government, they collectively opined, the people of this area are under living with uncertainty of life. Anytime a fire outbreak can take place. The unorganized waste-management is killing people slowly. If the government is really wants to do something they should do it apart from politicising the matter, the group concluded.