GUWAHATI, Oct 29 � A part of a hill located in a crucial environmental zone of Kharghuli, adjacent to the Lal Singh Academy playground here, has been totally robbed of its greenery by the Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) for setting up a water supply scheme funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) under a Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewable Mission (JNNURM) scheme.
This patch of the hill, with around 29 bighas of land area, was a green patch of earth with some valuable tree species and surrounded virtually on three sides by the Brahmaputra, had significant ecological importance. Originally, this plot of land formed a part of the around 110 bighas of hilly land owned by a famous indigenous business family of the city.
Parts of the above hilly plot was acquired by the Government for setting up Inland Water Transport Corporation Ltd, around 22 bighas of the plot was acquired for setting up the Raj Bhawan, part of the remaining part of the hill under Dag No 464 was owned by a family. The part of the hill owned by the Inland Water Transport Corporation under some other Dags, was contiguous to this private plot. Both these plots have now been acquired for setting up the water supply scheme.
This hilly area has now been subjected to severe denudation, mutilation and other damaging activities. All such activities have reduced this patch of the hill, located right on the bank of the mighty river, into an unsteady heap of red earth and thus destabilizing its soil structure in a shocking manner.
It needs mention here that the Master Plan prepared by the GMDA for the city till 2025 has described hills, reserved forests, rivers and beels, among others, as the eco-sensitive or eco-friendly zone areas.