Guwahati Today

Budget gives Guwahati its due

By our Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Feb 7:  Assam Fince Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma today said that the Government is going to establish a separate authority – Assam State Capital Region Development Agency – which will work in coordition with the existing agencies like GMDA, GMC and other urban local bodies, Panchayats to transform Guwahati region into a large and vibrant metropolis.

Presenting the State’s Annual Budget for 2016-17, Sarma said: “…Guwahati is the only Corporation in the entire State and has been seeing rapid growth and expansion. For the continued growth of the city and to prevent haphazard growth in outlying areas, a long-term plan and zoning is paramount.

Keeping this in view, our visiory Hon’ble Chief Minister announced in his address on the last Independence Day that, a State Capital Region will be established encompassing Guwahati and its neighbouring areas. In this regard, we have initiated the preparatory works and different city development models available in the country including the tiol Capital Region are being studied.”

He said: “The Assam State Capital Region Development Agency will work in coordition with the existing agencies like GMDA, GMC and other Urban Local bodies.”

According to Sarma, laying emphasis on the expansion of the city to the North bank, a new project is conceived for the construction of two bridges across the Brahmaputra, one connecting Panbazar to North Guwahati and another connecting Palasbari to Sualkuchi. A global tender has been called for the consultancy works for the preparation of the DPR  I have allocated Rs. 100 crore in this fincial year for construction of these bridges.”

Once this project is completed, according to Sarma, Guwahati city will expand towards the North Bank and the congestion in the city will be relieved. “I’ve spoken about the City Infra Development Fund earlier in my speech, and obviously Guwahati also needs large scale investments, and accordingly, I propose to allot an amount of Rs. 200 crore in my budget, which will be released over 3 years to develop landmark public infrastructure projects in the city.”

Sarma further said: “I would also like to inform that the preparatory works for the ‘Guwahati Smart City Project’ have been initiated and an amount of Rs. 189 crore as central share has been received. I have provided Rs. 400 crore in the current budget for this prestigious project.”

“Our government has also decided to develop an intertiol standard botanical park at the site of Old Jail Land Complex at Fancy Bazar on the lines of Singapore’s ‘Park Interconnect Model’ under Guwahati Open Spaces and Park Integrator (GOPI) network,” Sarma said, and added: “Further, the long pending ‘Ropeway Project connecting South and North Guwahati’ is targeted to be completed by July, 2017 for which a fincial sanction for Rs. 18.46 crore has already been issued.”

The Fince Minister said that to resolve solid waste magement, Guwahati Jal Board would implement a sewerage project for a major portion of the city which should be completed by 2022.

“For up-gradation and better magement of solid waste in the city, IIT-Kharagpur has been engaged as Consultant to suggest the basic design of the item required for scientific magement of the dumpsite at Boragaon to prevent environmental pollution,” he said.

On drinking water problem in the city, Sarma said: “To provide drinking water to the citizens of this great city, a JNNURM-assisted SGWWS Project shall also be commissioned in April, 2017 and accordingly, Phase I of JICA-assisted GWSP shall supply water through partial commissioning in 2017. For the fincial year 2017-18, an amount of Rs. 205.28 crore has been proposed for JICA-assisted GWSP.”

“To resolve the perennial problem of artificial flooding in Guwahati, the construction of RCC drains at Noonmati basin for the diversion of entire flood water of Zoo Road, Chandmari, Jyoti gar and Noonmati area has been taken up, and is expected to be completed during April, 2017. Further, the construction of sump wells at Anil gar and Lachit gar have also been initiated which will result in the stoppage of backflow of the river Bharalu and facilitate the effective pumping of flood water to reduce the duration of water logging,” Sarma said.

On the issue of lack of public vehicle parking spaces in Guwahati, Sarma said: “Two Multilevel Car Parkings, one at the Textbook Corporation land at Panbazar and another underground car parking below the existing GMDA parking at Ganeshguri, have been proposed during fiscal 2017-18 at an estimated cost of Rs. 32 crore… this Government is also proposing to establish a State Institute of Urban Development in Guwahati for which an amount of Rs. 2 crore has been proposed.”