A joint survey in 2009-10 had identified 64 roads in Guwahati which need widening
By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, Nov 12: The massive Diwali inferno that gutted a market area in Fancy Bazar resulting in a loss of over Rs 100 crore has turned the spotlight again on the safety measures in the fast growing capital city.
Visiting the fire site yesterday, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi had harped on precautiory measures to prevent such tragedies in future. But ironically, his government is sitting on a survey report by disaster magement authorities which had identified 64 rrow lanes in the city way back in 2009-10 and had recommended their widening. These roads needed immediate widening to ensure that they are not bottlenecks in quick response during disasters.
The survey, initiated by the Assam State Disaster Magement Authority (ASDMA), was carried out jointly by the PWD (Roads), Guwahati Municipal Corporation and the Kamrup metropolitan administration.
The ASDMA had forwarded the survey report to the Kamrup administration with a slew of recommendations, which included, among others, acquisition of land for widening of the roads.
Sources said that the district administration had taken up the matter with the Planning & Development department but it "did not show much interest".
Since then the report is gathering dust at the office of the deputy commissioner.
Some of the roads identified in the survey are those located in Fancy Bazar.
Firemen had complained that the rrow and cramped roads in Fancy Bazar impeded their response in controlling the New Market fire.
Even the tiol Disaster Magement Authority had stated that traffic bottlenecks in Guwahati were found to be a major impediment in coming up with a quick response to disaster situations.
Will the government wake up this time?