Guwahati: In a bid to end the age-old artificial flood problem of Guwahati smart, the Assam Government has started a process to revive the natural water bodies of the city. As a part of the process, the city administration last month carried out a massive eviction drive to clear the encroachment on the Silsako beel (water body) in the heart of Guwahati city.
The Kamrup Metropolitan Development Authority carried out a 3 days eviction drive on February 27 and cleared 450 acres of land encroachment in the Silsako water body. The Silsako Beel is the city’s prime water body to absorb the city’s additional water during the monsoon.
But for the last few decades, thousands of families have encroached on the water body resulting in a huge water logging problem in the city. Moreover, the previous Congress government had allocated several acres of land in the water body to many Government and private institutes. To clear the hurdle to revive the water body, Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma led the Assam Government will acquire 179 bighas (59 acres) of land allotted to 17 institutions that will be evicted from Silsako Beel in Guwahati.
Urban Development minister Ashok Singhal informed over Twitter. The institutions to be evicted include Tata Group’s Ginger hotel, apex literary body Asam Sahitya Sabha and residential units of the state assembly and Doordarshan Kendra.
The State Government faced flak from the public and opposition during a recent eviction drive at the lake.
After the acquisition process is over, the buildings will be demolished like many structures that were brought down during last month’s eviction.
Some other institutions whose legally allotted land will be acquired are the Omeo Kumar Das Institute of Social Change and Development– an autonomous research institute of ICSSR and the Government of Assam, and the Chilarai Bhawan of All Assam Koch Rajbongshi Sammelan.
Land parcels given to All Assam Tennis Association for a tennis complex, Asam Sahitya Sabha, Assam Institute of TV and Theatre, one veterinary hospital, and Assam Assembly and Doordarshan Kendra for building residential quarters for their staffers will also be cleared. The list of 17 institutions also contains several schools, one college and land allotted to Asom Saah Shramik Kalyan Parishad.
The Government in 2008 had declared Silsako Beel, surrounded by Chachal, Hengerabari, Pathar Quarry and Satgaon areas, a protected water body in Guwahati through an Act and prohibited any construction or settlement in around 1,800 bighas (over 595 acres) of the lake area. On March 2, the Kamrup Metropolitan district administration issued an order to demolish as many as 26 bridges over the Bahini river along an approximately 8 km stretch in Guwahati to ease water logging problems in a part of the city.