GMC spends over Rs 72 Crore in repairing 830 Guwahati roads in 2018
GUWAHATI: The Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) repaired and constructed 833 city roads and lanes in 2018.
A source in the GMC said, “Around Rs 71.59 crores was invested to repair 833 roads,” adding that the work of many other roads are ongoing.
According to the details availed from the chief engineer’s office of GMC, repairing work of more than 80 roads and lanes are currently in progress.
The funds were sanctioned in three parts - Rs 40 crores was sanctioned as devolution grant, Rs 21 crores as part of the 5th Assam State Finance Commission and the remaining Rs 10.59 crores was sanctioned under the second instalment 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 as devolution grant, a total of 721 roads were repaired.
Additionally, some drains, guard walls and community halls were built and streetlights were installed. While the 5th Assam State Finance Commission grant had been given for construction of 162 roads and lanes, 82 have been completed and the remaining are in process. The fund from 14th Finance Commission was used for the construction of the remaining 30 roads constructed in 2018.
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.
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.
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.”
Construction of 3 GMC market complexes sees no progress
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 two years.
The setting up Ganeshguri and Ulubari market complexes began around the same time in 2015. However, while Ganeshguri market complex has neared completion and is expected to start operating from February 2018, the construction work of the market complex at Ulubari has been stalling for over a year.
“The Ulubari market complex had completed 70% construction by 2017 but the work was going on at a very slow space. GMC decided to remove the contractor for substandard work and is also taking action against him. A new contractor will soon be assigned to complete the work,” a source at the chief engineer’s office 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 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.
GMC received Rs 75 Cr to clean major river channels in 2018
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.
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 2018, 100% cleaning and de-silting works of these rivers have been completed; in 2019 again the rivers will be cleaned if required. Additionally, maintenance works are currently on-going.
Other GMC projects in 2018 pending completion