Construction of 4 GMC Market Complexes Stalled for Over 2 Years
The construction of market complexes at four locations namely Ganeshguri, Ulubari, Fatasil and Rupnagar have seen no progress in 2019, having been stalled for years.
The Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) mulled plans to construct multi-storeyed markets in Ganeshguri, Ulubari, Fatasil and Rupnagar to relocate the street vendors of the same areas. However, the works of three of these market places have been stalling since the past three years.
The setting up of Ganeshguri and Ulubari market complexes began around the same time in 2015. The construction work of the market complex at Ulubari has been stalling for three years now. Similarly, while Ganeshguri market complex neared completion in 2018, the final works have remained pending ever since.
“The Ulubari market complex had completed 70% construction by 2017 but the work was going on at a very slow space. GMC has expelled the contractor for substandard work and is also taking action against him. A new contractor will soon be assigned to complete the work,” Debajit Das, chief engineer of GMC informed G Plus.
Similarly, he informed that the works for Rupnagar and Fatasil market complexes have been stalled due to land disputes and court cases by the local vendors associations who’re opposing the decision to relocate.
“We are fighting a case in the court because we're unhappy with the relocation. They're trying to send us there as they want to tell the court that they have given us space. But the total number of slots they are making available in the buildings is much less than what we require,” explained a vegetable seller.
According to the officials, the street vendors have occupied the streets with illegal shops which are leading to traffic congestion during the busy hours of the day. The illegal vendors covering a majority of the parking areas and footpaths have added fuel to the growing concerns.
“While GMC officials have been regularly carrying out eviction drives against street vendors, they keep resurfacing,” the official added.
GMC repairs 76 roads in 2019 as opposed to 833 roads in 2018
The Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) repaired and constructed 76 city roads and lanes in 2019. On the contrary, a total of 833 city roads and lanes were repaired and constructed in 2018.
With the end of the 5-year tenure of the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) council on 31st July 2018 and the deferred elections, the works are currently going on at a slow pace, a source at GMC said, speaking to G Plus.
In the past year, the municipal body has witnessed major reshuffle. First, IAS Monalisa Goswami was transferred from the post of commissioner and IAS Debeswar Malakar took charge. Then, Tasdiqur Rahman was transferred from the post of chief engineer and replaced by Debajit Das.
A source in the GMC said, “Around Rs 14.66 crores was invested to repair 76 roads in 2019,” adding that the work of many other roads are ongoing.
The funds were sanctioned in three parts - Rs 5.28 crores was sanctioned in the first part of 14th Finance Commission, Rs 4.16 crores in second part of 14th Finance Commission and the remaining Rs 5.22 crores was sanctioned under the third part of the 14th Finance Commission - after the ward councillors submitted reports on the roads that needed repair in their respective wards.
With the amount received in first instalment, a total of 27 roads were repaired.
Additionally, some drains, guard walls and community halls were built and streetlights were installed. While the second instalment of Finance Commission was used for construction of 30 roads and lanes, the fund from the third instalment was used for the construction of the remaining 19 roads constructed in 2019.
The repair works included construction of protection walls in some areas, lane and road improvement, guard wall constructions, construction of drains, improvement of RCC covered box drains near some lanes, construction of culverts and RCC slabs, construction of steps adjacent to some lanes, construction of underground drains and setting up of community halls and upgrading streetlights infrastructure in some areas.
The councillors also alleged that the government had been very slow in allotting funds. Commenting on the speed of the work, former councillor of Ward No 27, Jona Rabha said, “The problem is that the funds are not sanctioned on time by GMC which slows down the developmental works of every ward.”
The GMC has also constructed five community halls including one at Ambari and other at Kalibari and repaired cremation grounds at Boragaon and Athgaon.
GMC spends hefty amount on cleaning, maintaining river channels in Guwahati
According to the details availed from the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC), the chief engineer branch received a grant of Rs 75 crores in 2018 to develop the drainage system and major river channels. The GMC prepared a three-year plan (2018-20) to assess the drainage system of the city, de-silt the drains and clean the river channels utilising the fund.
In the first year, GMC spent hefty amounts of money to clean and de-silt the major river channels in the city. After identifying the areas which get affected by urban floods during rainy season, the GMC also took steps for flood mitigation.
In the second year, that is, 2019, the GMC has focussed on cleaning and maintaining the drains and river channels.
A GMC source said, “De-silting has been done at 330 drains and five major river channels of the city (Bharalu, Bahini, Lakhimijan, Basistha and Mora Bharalu) were cleaned this year,” adding that even masonry guard walls were constructed near some river channels.
The source further informed that for 2019, cleaning and de-silting works of these rivers have been completed and maintenance works are currently on-going.
Four foot-over bridges to be constructed over GS Road
The Assam government has sanctioned the construction of four foot-over bridges in Guwahati, sources at the Guwahati Municipal Corporation informed G Plus.
“The plans for construction of foot-over bridges in the city started to take shape due to the construction of concrete dividers. The GMC had thus submitted proposals for the construction of 10 bridges but the higher authorities claimed that only four of those are feasible,” said the source.
The four foot-over bridges will be constructed in GS Road near Apollo Hospital, Bhangagarh Bazaar, GMDA parking, and GS Road near Dona Planet.
Additionally, proposals have also been sent for various other projects such as Beltola market complex, Adabari bus stand and artificial water reservoir from the chief engineer’s office to the state government.
“We plan to make the Adabari bus stand at par with the bus stands in Ahmedabad and Vadodara. The tendering for the same has been done and development works are currently on-going,” Debajit Das, chief engineer of GMC informed G Plus.
He added that the GMC will also construct more AC bus stands across Guwahati like the ones constructed at Pan Bazaar and Bora Service. Additionally, GMC is also working towards completing the construction of all the market complexes.