GUWAHATI, Oct 23 - Newly-appointed Chairman of the Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) Ashok Singhal has stressed the need for preparing a comprehensive plan to set up a satellite township to ease the population pressure on Guwahati. He also assured that he would do his best to expedite the process of implementation of the ongoing schemes of the GMDA.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, Singhal, who will take charge as Chairman of the GMDA tomorrow, said that the civic problems faced by the citizens of Guwahati can be eased out if a proper satellite township can be created. He pointed out that most of the major cities of the country now have satellite townships to improve the civic amenities and under the present circumstances, Guwahati must be expanded with proper planning.
Singhal said that after the capital of Assam was shifted to Guwahati way back in 1972, the population has been increasing considerably over the years. But the expansion of the city has not taken place proportionately to the increase in its population and that is why the city is facing major problems, including traffic congestion. He also pointed out that since there has been no expansion of the city, a large number of people are living on the hills, which, in turn, results in landslides and clogging of the drains.
The newly-appointed GMDA Chairman expressed the view that a comprehensive plan for expansion of Guwahati should be chalked out. He pointed out that a satellite township should have the basic amenities like good transportation system, educational institutions, hospitals, etc. If the basic amenities are not provided, people would not be keen on shifting to a satellite town, he pointed out.
Singhal said that after taking charge of GMDA, he would explore the feasibility of preparing a master plan for expansion of Guwahati. �We will also have to hold talks with the government in this regard as the finances for such a plan would have to be provided by the government,� he added.
Singhal assured that he would lay stress on expediting the process of implementation of the ongoing schemes by the GMDA including the Japan International Cooperation Agency-sponsored water supply scheme to ensure that the projects are completed at the earliest.
Replying to a question on the harassment faced by people in obtaining building permission from the GMDA, Singhal said he would look into the matter after assuming office. At the same time, he assured that he would try to play his part in streamlining the process so that the people do not face harassment.
Though traffic management is the job of traffic police, Singhal said that he would hold talks with the police officials concerned in this regard and that GMDA would try to extend support to the police if required to improve the system.