JORHAT: The Jorhat district unit of AASU (All Assam Students' Union) has set the deadline of January 30 to the State Government for cancelling the project to construct residential and commercial buildings at the Jorhat Public Bus Terrminus at the Kotoki Pukhuri area here by the Jorhat Development Authority (JDA). It has also demanded the removal of JDA Chairman Prasanta Jyoti Goswami after the Jorhat Deputy Commissioner-constituted committee found several irregularities in the project awarded to a private builder.
Meanwhile, several other organizations have also opposed the project and also staged a demonstration seeking cancellation of the project.
On December 5, 2020, Deputy Commissioner Roshni A Korati constituted a four-member committee — led by Additional Deputy Commissioner Biswajit Phukan — to inquire into charges of irregularities and anomalies that came up against the JDA for initiating the said project by awarding the contract to a private construction firm owned by a builder.
Stating that the project was against public interest and was being done without proper approval of the government, advocate Rintu Goswami also wrote letters to the Prime Minister, Chief Minister, and the Assembly Speaker urging cancellation of this project.
Addressing newspersons here on Thursday, Goswami along with the president of Jorhat district unit of AASU — Bijoy Shankar Bordoloi said that the probe report that was submitted to the DC two days back, pointed out the several violations of rules by the JDA while proposing and going ahead with the project.
Stating that the charges of gross irregularities committed by the JDA had been clearly mentioned in the report, they (Goswami and Bordoloi), said that their charge against the JDA of not obtaining prior approval of the government to undertake the project was mentioned in the inquiry report.
Both added that the report had pointed out violations of the 'Country and Town Planning Act' while initiating the project as without approval of the government no activities could be undertaken in a plot allotted by the Government for a certain purpose.
Demanding immediate cancellation of the project, they said that it is required in the public interest. Supported by a group of RTI-activists, lawyers and several organizations, both also sought removal of the JDA Chairman. They also threatened to "launch a masses stir if the Government fails to cancel the project and remove Prasanta Jyoti Goswami from JDA Chairman's post in the light of gross violations committed by him as Chairman of the Authority".
Advocate Goswami further disclosed that the JDA Chairman was on interim bail granted by the Gauhati High Court after a Jorhat resident last month filed a criminal case against him (JDA Chairman) in the police station accusing him of committing anomalies in initiating the mentioned project.