April 3: The Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority has finally taken the first steps towards implementing the Brahmaputra riverfront beautification project.
The department recently invited expression of interest from competent firms with experience in riverfront beautification.
The project, from Nilachal Hills to Kharghuli Hills along the riverbank, will be carried out in a phased manner.
The city has over 20km of riverfront and the work will commence from Nilachal.
The first phase will cover the stretch between the DC bungalow and the DGP’s official residence.
“The riverfront beautification is a huge project and it will be judicious to move ahead in a phased manner. We have invited expression of interest to select a consultancy firm which will prepare the detailed project report,” said a GMDA official.
He said the cost of the first phase of project could be estimated only after the completion of the detailed project report.
“We can estimate the cost once the detailed project report is completed. The funding will depend on the cost estimate. We may have to approach financial institutions for funding the project,” the official said.
“We are already getting good response from agencies throughout the country. The execution of the project will be in the public-private partnership mode,” said M. Angamathu, chief executive officer of the GMDA.
Altogether 19 firms from across the country have evinced interest.
Though the project was conceptualised way back in 2006 and a masterplan prepared in 2009, the department encountered certain problems such as non-availability of land for shifting some of the buildings from the riverfront like the forest office, DC office and CJM court. Besides, there were problems of non-availability of funds among other things.
The masterplan was a blueprint to develop the areas alongside the Brahmaputra. It aimed to fortify the river embankment, relocate existing facilities and offices, modernise or consolidate existing ferry jetties and create basic infrastructure for water sport.
The authority has also solicited co-operation from the other departments like tourism, inland water transport for the successful implementation of the project from the first phase itself.