GUWAHATI SMART CITY PROJECT
* GDD asked to submit status report on widening of city roads
GUWAHATI: The Gauhati High Court has pulled up Dispur for the latter's failure to effectively implement the Guwahati Smart City project.
Hearing a PIL filed by one Rita Das Mozumdar, a division bench of the High Court comprising Chief Justice Ajai Lamba and Justice Soumitra Saikia has said that it is pained at recording that even though Rs 400 crore (approximately) has been made available to Guwahati Smart City Limited since 2017-18, no effective work has been done. The Court has also taken judicial notice of the fact that while the money is lying unused, the city has not been provided with the facilities as are required to be provided under Smart City Projects.
"Obviously value of money has been reduced and, therefore, the public exchequer has been put at a loss. We certainly would like to know the causes for which the delay has been caused," the High Court said.
The Court has asked Prashant Dhanda, Managing Director of Guwahati Smart City Ltd. to furnish all the resolutions passed by his company. Dhanda will be at liberty to interact with the Principal Secretary of Finance department, Government of Assam, so as to get assistance on the modes of inviting the service providers. The documents, including a soft copy, will have to be furnished to the Registry of Gauhati High Court by June 3, 2020.
Rita Das Mozumdar who filed the PIL, informed the High Court that even though the Master Plan for Guwahati city prepared in 2009, had provided that certain busy roads are required to be widened. "It appears that 11 years have gone by, however, the entire required works in that direction have not been done," the petitioner said.
The High Court has asked the Guwahati Development Department to apprise the Court as to whether all the roads that could possibly be widened have been widened and also in case on account of land constraints roads cannot be widened, whether a plan to provide flyovers has been conceived or not.
According to the High Court, the Fire Brigade Department and the Assam Disaster Management Department are also required to be involved in this exercise, because at a number of places within the city of Guwahati, fire brigades cannot reach. "In case of a mishap, if fire brigade is unable to approach, there can be number of fatality. In such circumstances, such areas be identified by Fire Brigade Department and Assam Disaster Management Department and the Court be apprised," the High Court said.