GUWAHATI, Sept 2 - The Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) has proved itself noncommittal in many matters and seems to be carefully maintaining a distance from the common people, going against the democratic principle of taking the people into confidence in matters related to the development programmes undertaken within the Guwahati Metropolitan Areas.
The GMDA is facing the allegation for the past several decades that it is throwing all the norms to the wind in matters related to green belts, eco-sensitive zones and riverfront and maintaining secrecy on the �continuous programme� of dredging the Bharalu bed, change of land use pattern in the Deepor Beel and its adjacent areas and the Silsako and Sola Beel areas.
It has recently changed the land use pattern in the Jalah Beel area of North Guwahati from an eco-sensitive zone to a grazing land by stating that it was originally a grazing land and by mistake it was described by the Guwahati Master Plan, 2009 as an eco-sensitive zone. In fact, the Jalah Beel is a wetland with a depth of more than 20 feet.
In November last year, some people from Athgaon, Kumarpara, Machkhowa, Bharalumukh and few other areas of the city requested the GMDA to hold a meeting to make things public on the issues concerning the development of the city riverfront and the land allotment made in the old Guwahati District Central Jail area of Fancy Bazar.
In the recent times, this was regarded to be the first such attempt on the part of the Guwahatians to draw the authorities to the public discourse forum concerning the developmental issues. The copy of the petition was also sent to the Guwahati Development Department (GDD).
Following this, the then GDD Joint Secretary requested the GMDA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to hold a meeting on 10.01.2018 at 10.30 am at the GMDA Conference Hall or the Circuit House with powerpoint presentation for petitioners.
The GDD Principal Secretary was also to take part in the said meeting.
Accordingly, the meeting was convened by the GMDA as per the earlier schedule at the GMDA Conference Hall but it was rescheduled by the GMDA on January 9, 2018, and January 18, 2018 was fixed as the new date for the meeting.
However, the GMDA again postponed the meeting, and despite repeated requests by the petitioners, the GMDA has failed to fix a new date for the meeting till date.
The letter of request submitted by the petitioners to the GDD Commissioner and Secretary on May 18, 2018, for fixing a new date for the proposed meeting is still to be answered, allege the petitioners.