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Guwahati colour identity plea

Chief minister's suggestion aims to leave a lasting impression on visitors and tourists who come calling to the city
Sarbananda Sonowal

Umanand Jaiswal   |   Guwahati   |   Published 26.10.20, 12:02 AM

Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Thursday suggested creation of a distinct colour identity for Guwahati so that it could leave a lasting impression on visitors and tourists who come calling to the city.

“I have a request. Here Himanta Biswa Sarma will have to help. I want that colour combination for houses in Guwahati should be developed so that tourists who come from within and outside India take back beautiful, lasting memories of the city for its distinct identity. Have asked them (officials and ministers) to study and develop a colour combination with help of the people,” Sonowal said at a function to inaugurate the extension of the Ganeshguri flyover here on Thursday.

The chief minister then referred to some cities across the world which are known for their unique building styles or uniform colours something which is their USP to attract tourists.

“It feels good when you visit these cities, for the colour, the uniformity. Guwahati with its hills, forests, rivers and water bodies is nature’s gift; something we don’t appreciate much. We should all pledge to protect the city and turn it into one of Southeast Asia’s beautiful cities. Through its uniform colourful look we can convey to the world that we are one, have the same mentality, believing in peaceful coexistence. It will give the city a distinct identity,” the chief minister said. 

Sonowal urged PWD minister Sarma and Guwahati development department minister Siddhartha Bhattacharya to deliberate on the suggestion so that a consensus on the colour combination could be developed in the coming days with the support of the city’s residents.

The Sonowal-led government has stepped up development activities in the run up to next year’s Assembly polls. During meetings on Thursday, all the ministers harped on development and developmental projects.

Santanu Bharali, legal adviser to the chief minister, said the colour or colours for the city will be decided after thorough discussions within the government and ideas and reports submitted by the public and NGOs as “soon” as possible. He then referred to a couple of Hindi films shot in exotic and unique locations, especially Santorini island in Greece where Salman Khan’s Wanted (2009) and Hrithik Roshan’s Bang Bang (2014) were shot.

“Santorini is all white; exuding peace. There is also a place in South Africa, a slum actually which was turned into an attractive tourist destination by an NGO which got it coloured. Guwahati’s potential has to be tapped, something our government has been trying. A decision will be taken after a thorough discussion but it will be taken soon,” said Bharali, who hails from Guwahati just like Sarma and Bhattacharya. Sonowal hails from Dibrugarh in Upper Assam. 

There have been attempts in the past to paint the city’s riverfront. One was initiated last year for the Japan Prime Minister’s visit which had to be cancelled because of the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act. The colour was light yellow, a trader from the locality said.Guwahati was one of the dirtiest cities in the country, according to the Swachh Survekshan 2020, the results of which were announced in August. It was ranked 356 out of the 382 cities in the category having a population of 1 to 10 lakh.At the function, Sonowal said the completion of the Ganeshguri flyover extension is an example of “good governance, quality governance”. The extension was completed in 19 months though the deadline was three years. Built at a cost of Rs 58.74 crore, the 425.50m flyover will ease traffic congestion in the city.

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