GUWAHATI, Feb 12 � Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today formally dedicated the city�s Brahmaputra riverfront to the people by laying the foundation of an ambitious beautification project that would make it �the country�s best riverfront.�
In addition, the Chief Minister also formally inaugurated the underground parking lot on the stretch between the Judges� Field and the Nehru Park.
The riverfront project � to be implemented by the Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) in phases � has been aesthetically designed as a signature development project for providing a distinct image to the city. It would involve different recreational facilities with a long walkway extending a stretch of 20 km from Kharghuli to the Nilachal (Kamakhya) Hills. The DC�s bungalow, however, would be retained as a heritage tourist interpretation centre.
Addressing the function held at the Kamrup (Metro) DC�s official residence (now vacated), the Chief Minister said that the riverfront used to be the exclusive domain of a privileged few but that was now changing with the gradual opening up of the stretch for the public.
�We are lucky to have a river like the Brahmaputra flowing right through the city, and the idea behind the opening up of the riverfront with recreational facilities is to make everyone access the bliss offered by the mighty river,� Gogoi said.
Terming the project as his long-cherished dream, Gogoi said that it was a tough task to get the riverfront cleared but with cooperation of all concerned the project was getting the momentum. �We still have to reclaim some more land but the project is progressing,� he said.
Minister for Guwahati Development Department (GDD), Himanta Biswa Sarma, while asserting that the riverfront beautification would totally change the face of the city, said that a master plan would be prepared to give effect to the complete aesthetic overhaul being planned for the riverfront.
�Now we are concentrating on the initial works but once we reclaim the entire stretch we will need a master plan involving around Rs 300 crore. We are also in the process of shifting the godowns of Fancy Bazaar from near the riverfront,� Sarma said.
The minister also stressed the need for developing the city�s outskirts for easing the city�s growing load.
Guwahati East MLA Captain Robin Bardoloi, Kamrup (Metro) DC Ashutosh Agnihotri, GMDA CEO Preetam Saikia, among others, also spoke.