GUWAHATI, May 4 � Stressing the need to have some open spaces in the city to deal with any natural or man-made disaster, Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) chairman Dhiren Baruah today said that it was high time, both for the government and the people, to think about disaster preparedness in Guwahati.
Baruah, who, as a public activist, has been raising the issue of the need of open spaces in every locality of the city, said that the disastrous earthquake in Nepal is a wake-up call for Assam and its hugely populated capital city.
Also highlighting the need to have scientifically planned buildings in Guwahati, taking into account all the provisions of the building bye-laws, he said that utmost care should be taken while constructing multi-storeyed buildings.
�Guwahati has both residential and commercial multi-storeyed buildings. After availing permission for new buildings, it is important to strictly adhere to norms to ensure future safety of the residents. Even after the permission is attained, it is important to follow the necessary guidelines, so that the structures remain strong even during natural calamities,� he said.
Stressing the need for generating awareness among the people regarding the importance of open spaces and wide roads and lanes in the city, he said that a drive should be launched to create open spaces in every locality.
�It is unfortunate that vast areas of government and non-government land have been witnessing illegal encroachment in many parts of the city. Without blaming anyone, I want to suggest that along with the government, it is also the duty of the common people to keep some portion of land open in every locality, where people can take shelter in the event of any natural or man-made disaster,� he added.
He urged the State government to take some concrete measures in this regard.