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A best laid plan gone haywire?

NEW ASSEMBLY HALL

GUWAHATI, May 13: With the Assam Assembly Speaker and some State cabinet ministers finding a number of loopholes in the new main Assembly hall nearing completion, the Rs 234.84-crore project seems to be a case of best laid plans going haywire.

With a view to giving a new look to the Assam Assembly Secretariat at Dispur, erstwhile Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi had taken up the Rs 234.84-crore project. He had laid the foundation stone of the project in February 2011 with its scheduled commissioning by 2014.

However, when Speaker Hitendra Nath Goswami and some cabinet ministers visited the new Assembly Secretariat under construction, they detected a gamut of loopholes that gave them an impression that the new buildings might not serve the very purpose of its construction. They found inadequate planning in the project that comprises the main Assembly building and two annexes, including a 14-storeyed one.

One of the glaring loopholes in the main Assembly hall is that it has no chambers for ministers in it. When officials want to meet ministers for getting departmental matters cleared, they come to the Assembly and ministers concerned attend them in their respective chambers located nearby and come back to the House instantly. The present Assembly hall has such chambers in it. However, in the new Assembly Secretariat planning, such chambers of ministers are in the 14-storeyed annexed building. It being a separate complex located far from the main Assembly hall, the ministers’ chambers are not conducive for serving their very purposes.

The press gallery in the new main Assembly hall is also not in the right place. Sitting there, journalists will not be able to see many legislators. The same is the problem with the officers’ gallery.

The Speaker wants to hold the session in the new main Assembly hall this year. However, such hurdles can be hurdles for him too.