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GMC fails to realize traders’ woe

It is more than six months, when Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) decided to construct four city markets buildings at a time and in a hasty action a ‘mockery of foundation stone’ laying ceremony of four markets were done by nobody else than the Assam Chief Minister, Tarun Gogoi himself at a single place located in densely populated area of Ulubari. The existing Ulubari GMC market had to bear the brunt of damages of the stalls created by the poor traders of the market for the function. GMC Commissioner and Mayor along with some other GMC officials approached the office bearers of the Ulubari Bazar Committee on March 4,2014, with the information that the foundation stone laying ceremony would be done by the Chief Minister, the following day i.e. on 5th March at 11 a.m. They ordered dismantling of about two dozens of stalls in the market to provide space to make stage for the programme. The traders of the market were informed that they would be getting a good building for their shops very soon. They had to lose their shops and daily business for several days consequently.

It was on March 5, 2014 when India’s Election commission was to announce the Lok Sabha elections in the country. The chief minister was to perform foundation stone laying ceremony  which was scheduled at 11 a m and accordingly the traders and the people of the locality were given to understand to attend the function. Surprisingly, the programme was preponed for 9 a.m. and the so-called drama of foundation stone laying ceremony of Ulubari, Rup Nagar, Ganeshguri and Fatasil these four GMC markets were performed at the same site. It was informed that because of declaration of Lok Sabha polls it was necessary to speed up construction of markets before the introduction of code of conduct by the Election Commission.

The city traders were kept in waiting for several months to see the  work to start. According to GMC, the contractors were given the work orders to begin the work. On September 24, 2014 a meeting of GMC officials held with the contractors on progress of work. It was found that even the arrangement of water which is most essential item for use by human and construction work was not done. The power connection has recently been arranged by the contractor, but the temporary camp and toilet for use by watchmen and laborers has not been done so far. Some iron rods are seen at the sight and a few laborers are cutting iron rings for last few days. The piling work is yet to start. The traders of the Ulubari market whose stalls were demolished have not got any relief either from GMC or the contractor. They have been left to continue their business in miserable conditions.

 

The contractor has not provided any work schedule to the Bazar Committee, which can enable them to observe the progress of work as agreed upon by the GMC. They feel there is lack of coordination between the GMC and the contractor due to which there is delay in the construction of the market. Although the contractor has obtained power connection from the APDCL, the piling work at the sight has not been started as yet. Keeping in view the plight of traders, the Market committee has requested the GMC officials to review the entire matter related to their market and get the speedy momentum to complete the project in the interest of suffering poor traders.

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Daya Nath Singh's picture

Journalist; Guwahati Press Club office Secretary

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