By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, March 12: If the proposed Rs. 1,515 crore budgetary allocation for Guwahati development is not largesse, it is not budget dust either. However, only the kind of implementation can say if the allocation for the city is going to give Guwahati denizens champagne taste on a beer budget or otherwise.
Presenting the first digital Budget in the State Assembly on Monday for fiscal 2018-2019, State Fince Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that in sync with the promise made in his last Budget speech, the Assam State Capital Region (SCR) Development Authority Act, 2017 had come into force from January, 2018.
The design of the Guwahati Open Spaces and Park Integrator (GOPI) work, according to Sarma, has been allotted to Singapore Corporation Enterprise (SCE), Government of Singapore.
The ambitious work on Kamakhya Ropeway connecting the Kamakhaya Railway Station and the area near the temple, according to the Fince Minister, is progressing smoothly. “The process of for the preparation of the DPR is underway. The estimated cost of the 1.06-km project is Rs. 33 crore,” he said. According to Sarma, works for creating more open and green spaces in Guwahati are gaining speed at Old Jail land at Fancy Bazar for a proposed amount Rs 58.63 crore, the Assam State Housing Board complex at Adabari at Rs 8.74 crore and the Khadi & Village Industries Board complex at Hengrabari at a cost of Rs 14.81 crore.
“The City Infra Development Fund (CIDF) will continue for beautification and landmark project infrastructure creation. An amount of Rs. 100 crore has been allotted for it in the current budget,” Sarma said, and added: “It is proposed to develop three modern freight termini with intermodal transport at Changsari, Chaigaon and Sopur to ease traffic Congestion. I’ve allocated Rs. 5 crore in the Budget for the development of this project to be developed on PPP mode,” he said, and added: “Rs 5 crore has been made in the current Budget for solving the lack of parking facilities." To address the perennial problem of artificial flooding in Guwahati, the minister said, an amount of Rs. 50 crore is allocated for development and maintence of existing water retention basins.
“Guwahati Smart City Limited (GSCL) has initiated a variety of projects, including the Borsola Beel project which aims to establishing a Sewage Treatment Plant (STP), landscaping and cleaning of the Beel. Further, the Brahmaputra Riverfront Development project has been also initiated from Kamakhya to the Raj Bhawan. We’ve also set up bio-toilets and water ATMs at 20 locations on a pilot basis,” Sarma said, and added: “For the works under the Guwahati Water Supply Project, funded by the Japan Intertiol Cooperation Agency (JICA), I have earmarked sufficient budget for the same in the fincial year 2018-19.”
According to Sarma, to implement a sewerage project for a major portion of the city, a loan agreement for Guwahati Sewerage Project (Zone-I) between JICA authorities and the Central Government has been signed. “For the fincial year 2018-19, Rs.10 crore has been allocated for the project,” he said.