Guwahati diary - Battling encroachers. soaring onion prices and Assam CM Sonowal's sports capital dream

After Guwahati successfully hosted a number of international sporting events like the SAF Games, FIFA U-17 World Cup, and Youth Women’s World Boxing Championship, CM Sonowal guns for sports capital.

Published: 29th November 2017 08:31 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th November 2017 08:31 AM   |  A+A-

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal | PTI

By Express News Service

Making Guwahati the sports capital of India

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal is dreaming of making Guwahati the sports capital of India. He is elated that the city, known as the gateway to the Northeast, has successfully hosted a number of international sporting events.The SAF Games, the FIFA U-17 World Cup, and AIBA Youth Women’s World Boxing Championship are some of the major events Guwahati has hosted in the past year.

“The state government is working towards making Guwahati an international sports centre. But first we want to make it the sports capital of India,” Sonowal said. He described pin-up girl Ankushita Bodo, who won a gold medal at the boxing event, as the Mary Kom of the future.

Joon the golden langur turns 10

It was a special day at Assam State Zoo-cum-Botanical Garden in Guwahati on Sunday. The zoo authorities ordered a special fruit cake to celebrate the birthday of Joon, a male golden langur which turned ten that day. It was the first ever birthday celebration for Joon, who was born in the zoo. Children came to the event wearing langur masks. Divisional f orest officer Tejas Mariswamy told The New Indian Express that the basic objective of the celebration was to build a bond between children and the animal. The zoo has five golden langurs. “This plan started in October this year. The zoo celebrates the birthday of one animal every month,” he said.

3,000-strong team takes on encroachers

Once battered by floods, and now facing the might of the establishment. The authorities in Assam have pressed into service 3,000 armed policemen, 15 elephants and a number of excavators to evict encroachers from Amchang reserve forest on Guwahati’s outskirts. Five people were hurt when encroachers tried to resist the police action. The drive, which began on Monday following a directive from Gauhati High Court, will end on Wednesday. The encroachers, numbering a few thousand, are mostly flood victims from the state’s Lakhimpur, Dhemaji and Majuli districts. Their migration took place after they lost their homes to the natural calamity.

People cry over rising onion prices

The skyrocketing price of onion is making Guwahati residents cry. Onion is selling for Rs 70 a kilo and the price is going up with each passing day. The price of onion started rising from Rs 20 a kilo after the floods last August. The prices of other vegetables too had shot up, but they returned to normal later. However, onion is giving buyers no respite. Given its rising price, it is apparently headed for Rs100 a kilo. City residents are blaming wholesalers. They are accusing traders of inflating the price by creating an artificial crisis, while retailers are alleging that the wholesalers force them to buy five quintals of potato when they buy a quintal of onion.

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