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Clear doubts on projects, citizens urge GDD

By STAFF REPORTER
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GUWAHATI, Dec 17 - Over 50 leading citizens of the city have requested the Guwahati Development Department (GDD) to hold public meetings expeditiously for clearing the confusion among the Guwahatians on the issue of beautification of the city riverfront and the issue of setting up a botanical garden on the old Guwahati District Central Jail land at Fancy Bazar here.

In their petition to the GDD Principal Secretary, which was submitted recently, these leading citizens stated that they have come across a lot of information concerning the beautification of the city riverfront and allotment of the old jail land, but there is no official confirmation on these issues.

On October 25 last, Union Minister of State (Independent) for Urban Development Hardeep Singh Puri had announced an allocation of Rs 826 crore for the purpose of beautification of the city riverfront. Prior to this, on October 13 last, the Guwahati Smart City Development Agency Ltd reportedly made a presentation before Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on the city�s riverfront development project. The project is to cover an area of 72.45 bighas of land in a 5.2-km long stretch, between the Raj Bhawan and Kamakhya.

There are also reports of some digging operations carried out by some firms to conduct tests on the soil samples collected from the Brahmaputra riverbank in the city.

Moreover, there is also an initiative taken to join the city with North Guwahati through a ropeway. The historic Assam type building of the old Kamrup DC bungalow on the eastern part of the Sukreswar hillock in the Panbazar area has also been refurbished with an avowed plan to develop it as a heritage building-cum-museum.

A stretch of the Mahatma Gandhi Road, between Bharalumukh and Sukreswar Ghat, has also been opened experimentally for the pedestrians on Sunday evening as walking zone.

But the citizens of Guwahati are not made aware as to whether these projects are interlinked as integral components with the ambitious city riverfront development project of GDD, which has been hanging fire since 1995.

On the issue of the old jail land, these citizens said several business houses and organisations have either built their buildings or have put up hoardings on some portions of the old Guwahati District Central Jail land in the Fancy Bazar area of the city.

It is not clear as to whether the State government, which had earlier decided to earmark the entire plot of land for setting up a botanical garden in the later half of 2012, has changed its mind and distributed some portions of the old jail land among some organisations and business houses, said the citizens.

�With such confusing developments concerning the riverfront of the city and the old jail land, we request you (GDD Principal Secretary) to hold a public meeting or a series of public meetings at the earliest to remove the doubts in the minds of people concerning these issues. This will also help you (GDD Principal Secretary) in assessing the feelings and sentiments of the majority of the Guwahatians, and, if required, to amend the official approaches in these regards, going by the norms of democracy,� said the citizens in their petition.

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Clear doubts on projects, citizens urge GDD

GUWAHATI, Dec 17 - Over 50 leading citizens of the city have requested the Guwahati Development Department (GDD) to hold public meetings expeditiously for clearing the confusion among the Guwahatians on the issue of beautification of the city riverfront and the issue of setting up a botanical garden on the old Guwahati District Central Jail land at Fancy Bazar here.

In their petition to the GDD Principal Secretary, which was submitted recently, these leading citizens stated that they have come across a lot of information concerning the beautification of the city riverfront and allotment of the old jail land, but there is no official confirmation on these issues.

On October 25 last, Union Minister of State (Independent) for Urban Development Hardeep Singh Puri had announced an allocation of Rs 826 crore for the purpose of beautification of the city riverfront. Prior to this, on October 13 last, the Guwahati Smart City Development Agency Ltd reportedly made a presentation before Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on the city�s riverfront development project. The project is to cover an area of 72.45 bighas of land in a 5.2-km long stretch, between the Raj Bhawan and Kamakhya.

There are also reports of some digging operations carried out by some firms to conduct tests on the soil samples collected from the Brahmaputra riverbank in the city.

Moreover, there is also an initiative taken to join the city with North Guwahati through a ropeway. The historic Assam type building of the old Kamrup DC bungalow on the eastern part of the Sukreswar hillock in the Panbazar area has also been refurbished with an avowed plan to develop it as a heritage building-cum-museum.

A stretch of the Mahatma Gandhi Road, between Bharalumukh and Sukreswar Ghat, has also been opened experimentally for the pedestrians on Sunday evening as walking zone.

But the citizens of Guwahati are not made aware as to whether these projects are interlinked as integral components with the ambitious city riverfront development project of GDD, which has been hanging fire since 1995.

On the issue of the old jail land, these citizens said several business houses and organisations have either built their buildings or have put up hoardings on some portions of the old Guwahati District Central Jail land in the Fancy Bazar area of the city.

It is not clear as to whether the State government, which had earlier decided to earmark the entire plot of land for setting up a botanical garden in the later half of 2012, has changed its mind and distributed some portions of the old jail land among some organisations and business houses, said the citizens.

�With such confusing developments concerning the riverfront of the city and the old jail land, we request you (GDD Principal Secretary) to hold a public meeting or a series of public meetings at the earliest to remove the doubts in the minds of people concerning these issues. This will also help you (GDD Principal Secretary) in assessing the feelings and sentiments of the majority of the Guwahatians, and, if required, to amend the official approaches in these regards, going by the norms of democracy,� said the citizens in their petition.