One year on, still no construction activity at Guwahati Twin Tower site
GUWAHATI: In contrast to the government’s claim to start the construction work of the twin tower trade centre in Guwahati from July last year, the construction site continues to wear a desolated look.
Not a single post has been erected so far at the site allocated for the tower at Basistha Crossing near NH-37.
National Building Construction Company Limited (NBCC), which signed an agreement with the government of Assam in February last year to build the 65-storey towers, has only put up a signage at the building site to remind people of the future existence of the tower.
Even, the signage was not in a good shape for the last couple of days as the ongoing stormy weather had crumbled and torn the signage apart. The signage remained like that for a while before it was repaired by NBCC very recently.
The people of the region will clearly have to wait longer than they expect to see the twin tower trade centre in its physical form as NBCC continues to hold rounds of meetings with various stakeholders to start construction of the building.
“We assure you that NBCC is having negotiations at the top level to set up the twin tower trade centre in Guwahati at the earliest. However, we cannot say for sure as to when they are going to start construction of the building,” a highly placed source at Assam Industries & Commerce department told G Plus.
According to the source, among other stakeholders, NBCC is holding discussions with New York’s World Trade Centre Association, which grants permission to any building that wishes to be used as trade centre and use the name “Twin Tower” against a certain amount of fee.
Construction of the Guwahati twin tower trade centre, which will be built in pursuance of the government of India’s Act East Policy, will be carried out at a cost of Rs 1,950 crores in a self-financing mode.
Except for the 32-bigha plot, Assam government will not provide any financial assistance to the development of the trade centre. Instead, the government expects to earn revenue and boost business in the state from the centre, which is expected to be completed over a period of five years.
The twin tower project, touted as the new Trade and Business Gateway for South-East Asian nations, will feature several modern amenities along with state-of-the-art IT enabled services.
Upon completion, the trade centre will be equipped with convention centre, hotel, shopping complex, service apartments, residential zones, museum and cinema halls among others.
It will also have basement parking facility to accommodate 4,000 cars.
However, a section of people expressed concern over the idea of building a 65-storey building in a high earthquake prone zone like Assam.
The government of Assam, however, dispelled the fear by saying that there are technologies available to build high rises in earthquake prone areas.
In this regard, the source at the state Industry & Commerce department said, “This issue will obviously be taken care of by NBCC while building the tower. There are so many high rises in Japan, which is one of the most earthquake prone countries in the world. Then, why can’t we build a 65-storey building using the right technologies?”
Ranel Das, a city-based architect also echoed the sentiment of the government.
Speaking to G Plus, Das said, “Technically everything is possible. If we use the right technology, it is very much possible to build a skyscraper like the one being planned by the government of Assam. There are so many countries in the world that are prone to earthquake and have many high rises.”
Assam received Rs 52,000 Cr worth of investment from MoUs signed during Advantage Assam
The state of Assam has so far received Rs 52,000 crores worth of investment from the Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) signed during Advantage Assam - the global investors’ summit held in Guwahati in February last year to further boost the Centre’s Act East policy.
During the two-day summit, a total of 207 MoUs valued at Rs 79,000 crores were signed between the government of Assam and various industrial units which had come in from various parts of the world to participate in the event.
“If we compare the average investment committed during similar global investors’ summits held in other parts of the country, we see that less than 15% of the investment promised during Advantage Assam has been grounded so far,” said the source at the state Industry & Commerce department.
According to the source, commitment from the oil sector forms a large chunk of the MoUs signed during Advantage Assam, with Rs 42,000 crores worth of investment has already been grounded in the sector.
One of the investments in this sector includes the construction of a natural gas pipeline from Barauni in Bihar to Guwahati at a cost of Rs 330 crores.
Sun Pharma, which signed a MoU during the Advantage Assam summit, has already inaugurated a Rs 120 crore expansion plant at its site in Mirza in Kamrup district.