GUWAHATI, July 8 � The Rs 41-crore ambitious Guwahati-North Guwahati Ropeway Project of the Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) is facing serious legal hurdles. Besides, technical problems have also affected its construction work and since October, 2010, work on the project remained stalled following titling of its Pillar No. 2.
Meanwhile, MGVK Bhanu, one of the Principal Secretaries to the Chief Minister, has evinced keen interest to resolve the legal tangle. He has held meetings too, involving the parties concerned, with this aim in view.
Of its initially estimated cost of Rs 28 crore, a sum of Rs 22 crore has already been spent in executing the project. The State government has by this time sanctioned an additional amount of Rs 13 crore to get the rest of its work done.
The GMDA has proposed to install a new pillar at a distance of 80 metres from the Urvasi to replace the tilted pillar. But the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has opposed the move on the ground that it would pose threat to the archeological assets of the Urvasi. The Urvasi is a protected archaeological monument under the ASI.
The State Directorate of Archaeology has also objected to the project stating that the T-3 tower at Umananda is constructed at a distance of 30 metres from the outer wall of the Umananda Temple and at a distance of 27 metres from the Haragauri Temple, which comes under the �Prohibited Area� of the monument as per Section 3 read with Notes of �The Assam Ancient Monuments and Records Act, 1959�, said State Archaeology Director (in-charge) Dr DR Kauli, while speaking to this correspondent.
The above legislation has specified 100 metres as �Prohibited Area� and 200 metres as �Regulated Area� beginning from the boundary limit of the area of a protected monument, said Dr Kauli.
The Archaeology Director has requested Cultural Affairs Minister of the State to use her good office to suggest the GMDA a changed location for the ropeway.
ASI Guwahati Circle Superintending Dr Milan Chauley told this correspondent that the rope of the project would pass at a distance of 48 metres from the Urvasi and from the navigational pillar, it is only 15 metres away, despite the fact that nothing could be erected within 100 metres of a protected monument and within 200 metres of such a monument, some structures could be erected with the no-objection certificate (NOC) from the National Monuments Authority (NMA).
In this case, it has been found that despite objection from the ASI, base and platform on the southern bank and one base on the Umananda Island were set up by the GMDA. When the ASI served a notice on the GMDA, only then the work stopped. The matter has been taken up with the NMA. Its decision on the matter is awaited, said Dr Chauley.