GUWAHATI, Aug 30: The historic Gandhi Mandap, located atop the Sarania Hill is in essence a museum constructed in the memory of the ‘Father of the Nation’, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. It is one of Guwahati's vantage points with vehicle access.
Notably, in an effort to give a face-lift of the landscape of this historic location, Dispur had initiated two ambitious projects – installation of 306-ft-tall monumental flagpole with a flag of the size 120 feet X 80 feet at a Budget cost of Rs 2.65 crore. Moreover, Dispur also initiated an ambitious beautification project under Guwahati Smart City Ltd (GSCL) with a budget cost of Rs 2.9 crore.
The gigantic flag was supposed to flutter from August 15 this year. However, it has been missing the previously fixed commissioning date. At the same time, the beautification plan, which was started on December 4, 2017, has also been facing the same fate as it was supposed to be completed by April 2018.
When The Sentinel visited the spot on Thursday, the workers engaged in the beautification work revealed that more than 50% work is yet to be completed and asserted that the planned beautification is likely only by this year-end.
Talking to The Sentinel, a few visitors present on the spot said that ever since the commencement of the beautification works, it only turned the spot hazardous. “Whenever we visit this place, all the time we see people digging the earth without a progress.”
Moreover, the GSCL had also installed a water ATM earlier at the Gandhi Mandap premises. However, to the reasons best known to the GSCL authority, not even a single drop of water has been leaking from the already installed water ATM.
Considering all these unprecedented delays in both the projects, everyone would raise a question, is Dispur sincere enough to achieve the promised date of completion?
Notably, the objective of the beautification was to preserve the heritage and historical significance associated with the place and to convert the place into a potential tourism spot with naturally existing scenic viewpoints. However, instead of becoming a tourists’ favorite destination, the spot has been now turning into a risk for the visitors.
The objective of the beautification was to decorate the front and entry court, renovation of existing stage, renovation of existing shade, development of food court, kiosks for dry food items, and redevelopment of forest trail, infrastructure improvement work like drinking water, lights, pathways, signage, drain, toilet, retaining wall and walkway Bridge.