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Authorities flouting GMDA order


GUWAHATI, May 17 � Violation of road level has been a common practice during repair and relaying of roads, lanes and by-lanes in the city. While for a long time there was a no fixation of road levels � something used as a pretext by the PWD and the GMC to whimsically raise road levels � the Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) following an intervention by the Gauhati High Court fixed levels for different types of roads in May 2013.

The GMDA office order dated May 2, 2013 which followed constitution of an expert committee on November 28, 2011 pursuant to a Gauhati High Court directive fixed road levels as follows � existing RL + 15 cm for permanently built-up major roads; existing or built-up hard RL+20 cm for arterial roads and roads yet to be built up permanently; and HFL + 60 cm for non-existing roads.

�All site engineers will ensure fixation of ground level and plinth level in connection to building permission-related issues, based on the road level as mentioned,� the GMDA office order signed by Dr M Angamuthu, then CEO, GMDA, said.

Earlier while disposing a PIL on road level on November 14, 2011, the High Court had also directed that the expert committee comprising IIT Director, Assam Engineering College Principal, Chief Engineer, PWD (Roads), GMDA CEO, GMC Commissioner, Chief Engineer of Water Resource Dept., and Chief Engineer of Town and Country Planning Dept. would periodically monitor the situation and give its periodical reports. The Additional Chief Secretary (Works), Govt of Assam, is the chairman of the committee.

The road level fixation effected in May 2013, however, failed to check the disturbing trend of raising of road level across the city. According to GMDA Chairman Dhiren Baruah, the problem is largely attributable to lack of coordination among various government departments and lack of enough engineers in GMDA for monitoring.

�Road level violation is a fact but we are trying to ensure that there is proper coordination among various departments so that road level norms are maintained,� he said.

In the latest case, acting on a writ petition (c) 2248/2015, the Gauhati High Court has directed the State PWD (Road) authorities to ensure that the ongoing repair work on the Rajgarh link road from the RCC Bridge to Bihutoli � a stretch of 700 metres � is carried out strictly confronting to the GMDA office order on road level fixation.

��the road constructing authority will also bear in mind the orders passed in the PIL No. 44/2011. The authority shall have necessary consultation with the committee that was constituted dated November 29, 2011 after the orders passed in the aforesaid PIL. While carrying out the repair and rehabilitation of the road, the problem of water-logging, choked garbage, flooding, etc., shall also be taken into consideration as to whether such repairing of the road will have any adverse effect on the drainage,� Justice BK Sharma observed in its order dated April 27, 2015.

The court also made it clear that in future while taking out repair work, the authority would strictly adhere to the office order, in terms of which �addition is permissible only up to 20 cm from the existing or built up hard RL, which will always be as was existing on the date of issuance of the office order dated May 2, 2013.�

The court further directed that the repair work on the Rajgarh link road is �carried out expeditiously keeping in mind the ensuing monsoon season.�

In the petition, a number of residents of Rajgarh link road voiced apprehension that the repair of the road would cause raising of the road level by a large margin, creating severe inconveniences for the residents in the form of water-logging, choked garbage, artificial flooding, etc.

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