Silchar: Amidst raging controversy, Pijush Hazarika, Minister of Urban Development, will lay the foundation stone of multiplex amusement park, hotel and market at Gandhi Park in Silchar on Thursday. Ever since the proposal was floated two years ago by the BJP led municipal board, it has been the butt of criticism in civil society in general. Protest public meetings were held to put a halt to it on the ground that the only open and green space in the heart of this town called the historic Gandhi Park would lose all greenery and turn into a concrete jungle.
The wide and blue famous Goldighee water park, another green and airy space, regarded as the lung of this town, sunk into the abysmal of time, when the then Congress ruled municipal board raised a huge multiplex shopping mall. Public criticism lost all steam before the ruling dictate. It is the repeat of the same refrain now ‘go commercial, hell with greenery and ecology.’ Piyush Hazarika is perhaps totally in the dark about the turn of events.
MLA Dilip Kumar Paul who has all along protested against the project, has been sidelined by the municipal board and his name omitted from the invitation card and the plaque of the foundation stone. Congress commissioner and president of NGO Adarsh alleged the amusement park has not been approved at any meeting of the Board. It has simply been pushed through by the Board, violating all standing rules and regulations.
Niharendra Narayan Thakur, chairman of the Board, strongly refuted the allegation, calling it baseless. He clarified the multicrore project approved and financed by the State was ratified at the meeting of the Board of January 18, 2019. Tender for the same was floated and the work order given to Assam Progressive Developers Ltd (APDL). Asked about the omission of the name of MLA Dilip Kumar Paul, Thakur said it was done at his own instruction. Opposition commissioners however ask, at which meeting of the Board was the proposal discussed and approved? And there hangs the tale.
In the meantime, at a meeting of the senior citizens on Tuesday, Sammilit Sanskritik Manch, a socio-cultural group, has decided to hold protest demonstration when Pijush Hazarika comes here to lay the foundation stone, submit a memorandum to Laya Madduri, Deputy Commissioner, and also take a decision to file PIL before the National Green Tribunal, pointed out Deepak Sengupta, a cultural activist, to thwart the anti greenery move of the municipal board.